The answer is Spain.
Café España is the first of three stores in Paris’s trendy Marais district that will be offering the “Café España” variety of saffron. The idea for a restaurant-only shop arose after the food industry decided to stop buying saffron because it is not biodegradable, they’re too costly to use, and they’re a bit of a pain in the neck for cooks to make in the kitchen.
The “Café España” store will focus on high-end dishes that are sold in a glass and ceramic dish, but it will also sell many of the dishes that chefs in the restaurant industry use.
This is a very bold strategy by Cafe España. The restaurant’s first venture into the culinary sphere was a restaurant in the French quarter, called Mousse and Coddle, that’s also open to the public and runs a restaurant fair on weekends. And this is the shop’s biggest challenge yet: it will initially be a grocery store, but there is talk of expanding to be a food production space as well, in the hopes to become more and more an all-in-one grocery store.
Do you have any favorite saffron dish? I enjoyed my chicken and avocado saffron parfait with mint and lemon thyme saffron dip (photo above). And for one of my favorite saffron dishes, I used a combination of my go-to flavors, basil, onion, and thyme. But all of my favorites are already available in a limited menu here.
With just a single entrance and only one storefront in Old Paris, La Atelier Auchard has been one of New York’s most mysterious and exciting restaurants since its opening in 2011. Now a second location at the Four Seasons Hotel on West 66th Street will be the third of the “Café Auchard” stores in the United States, as well as the first location across the bay from the French capital.
The restaurant will be open to the public on Sundays, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and it runs a one-person wait list. While the restaurant will not currently have the best of what I’d call a saffron culture, it is the first location offering a complete and holistic saffron experience
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