Safflower, aka zafran, dyer's saffron and false saffron, is an annual thistle-like plant in the daisy family native to the Middle East and grown commercially in Europe, Mexico, India and the U.S. The plant produces vibrant yellow to deep red flowers that have been used for centuries to make dyes for textiles. When the plant goes to seed in late summer, the flower heads become shrouded in a downy halo, housing 15 to 20 seeds each. While the seeds yield an edible oil commonly used for cooking, dried safflower flowers are used as an alternative to saffron. It should be noted, however, that although safflower lends lovely color that is comparable to saffron, its flavor is far more subtle.
Dried red / orange safflower petals can be infused in a carrier oil to create a natural red colour. Safflowers were once used to dye Red Cotton for Legal Documents, which is where the phrase 'Red Tape' originated.
Dried Safflower Edible Flowers
100% dried safflower petals.
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