Food styling / Lifestyle / Marché

An Ode to Garlic and Saffron


A year has passed since we moved to the Pacific Northwest, a region with a rich bounty of fish, shellfish, fruits, vegetables, flowers… I could go on – praising the product of this unmatched coast. We feel very fortunate to live here.


  An Ode to Garlic and Saffron | Au Petit Goût

An Ode to Garlic and Saffron | Au Petit Goût


Ajo y Azafrán (Garlic and Saffron) are two condiments Ama (mom) always cooked with (as did my aunts). The foundation of nearly every sauce in the Basque cuisine is garlic. The smells of garlic cloves drizzled with olive oil and tinted by the hues of Saffron threads are engraved in my palate. I continue to cook with them in nearly every dish, as I’m sure many of you do in yours. Basque cuisine is simple. We use the juice of the meat or fish itself as the base of a simple sauce. Flavoring is a matter of adding a humble sprig of parsley, thyme, or one or two bay leaves. A light sprinkle of Paprika, a few threads of Saffron for color and its inimitable taste and that should do it. Garlic may be the one exception as it is added to many dishes with a very generous hand.


Elizabeth Gaubeka Photography | Au Petit Goût

Garlic Spears | Elizabeth Gaubeka Photography


Saffron, also known as the ‘red gold‘ is highly precious. Arroz Negre or Paella is never complete without a few threads of Saffron. Although it seems an expensive condiment (and compared to others it certainly is), a little goes a very long way, and it is an irreplaceable flavour that I am not ready to leave behind as long as I can procure it.


An Ode to Garlic and Saffron | Au Petit Goût


The bounty the Pacific Northwest provides in young garlic, onions, peppers and much more is to me like I imagine a poet’s muse and inspiration.


An Ode to Garlic and Saffron | Au Petit Goût


I hope to continue to share with you the fruits of what this region offers, and I look forward to learning and cooking from what – the places you call home – offer to you. Will be back soon.

©Au Petit Goût.  All Rights Reserved.

6 comments on “An Ode to Garlic and Saffron”

  1. Comment rendre merveilleuse une gousse d’ail ? J’ai trouvé, c’est ici.
    Je continue à prendre un immense plaisir (et des leçons aussi) à regarder tes photos, si délicates.
    Et je suis comme toi, l’ail fait partie de ma cuisine presque quotidienne, si mes recettes ne sont pas inspirées par le pays Basque, elles n’en demeurent pas moins du sud de la France, plutôt provençale. Mais on y retrouve l’ail et le safran.
    Merci Elisabeth pour ce si joli post.

    1. Oh! Clémentine! Merci pour ce commentaire si gentil. Je suis très touchée par ton commentaire. Ravie que tu aimes l’ail comme moi. J’adore l’ail avec tout! Je suis trés content parce que tu aime les photos. Merci c’est moi qui te remercie pour ta visite et ton commentaire Clémentine! Bon weekend!
      À bientôt! 😉

  2. I know I’ve probably commented on this before but your part of the world is where I’d live if I was in the US, it just seems so beautiful.

    And purple garlic is the best. Saffron isn’t something I cook with very often but I really should, it’s a lovely spice (with so much history too).

    (I also love your sweet red patterned plates!)

    1. Thank you, Emma! I’m sure you would like it, although you already live in one of my favorites places. Yes, indeed. Saffron is a lovely spice and deeply rooted in our cuisine. Just a little (a few threads) goes a long way. Thank you for stopping by, Emma!

Leave a Reply