Where to Try Flavor-Rich Saffron Desserts in Coquitlam

By Anna Black

If you’re looking for a unique dessert experience in the Coquitlam area, you may want to give saffron desserts a try. The city offers up a variety of choices for this decadent after dinner treat, enjoyed for its orange-hued, earthy pungent flavor.

About Saffron

Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of the Crocus sativus or saffron crocus. Once considered a luxury item due to its price, it is commonly used today in South Asian, European, and North African cuisine. Common examples of saffron desserts include Persian ice cream, shirini-e keshmeshi (raisin and saffron cookies), harireh (pudding), sohān-e-asali (honey toffee), and gaz (Persian nougat).

The saffron crocus | image via Pixabay
The saffron crocus | image via Pixabay

“Since saffron is a unique and popular spice, our guests love to try any product that contains saffron, and the most enjoyable thing about it is its one of a kind aroma and flavor.”

– Bita Askari, General Manager, Urban Gate

“Saffron is appealing because of its expensive price, its rich aroma, and its appearance. When you put saffron on a plate, it gives that plate a look of elegance that you don’t often see.”

Amir Hosh, Owner, Ayoub’s Dried Fruit & Nuts

Health Benefits of Saffron

Cultivated and harvested by hand in mass quantities in Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Israel, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Spain, and Turkey, saffron is high in manganese, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and vitamin B6. Consuming the spice helps with blood sugar regulation, calcium absorption, immune system protection, blood purification, carbohydrate metabolism, as well as the healthy formation of tissues, bones, and reproductive hormones.

“My customers often ask about the health benefits of saffron. My mom used to say that it makes you happy and that it will make you smile.”

– Amir Hosh, Owner, Ayoub’s Dried Fruit & Nuts

Where to Enjoy Saffron Desserts in Coquitlam

Urban Gate
#102 – 1158 The High Street, Coquitlam

Urban Gate is a family owned and operated Persian inspired boutique market offering butcher services, on-site bakery, and freshly sourced local produce as well as a full-service bar and grill. A “hidden gem” in the community, Urban Gate is recognized for its excellent selection of Persian and Western food, generous portions, attentive servers and relaxing environment. Eat-in and take-out options are available or buy the ingredients for your very own feast at home! Catering is also available.

Urban Gate is open Monday/Tuesday 11 AM – 11 PM, Wednesday – Saturday 11 AM – 12 AM, and Sunday from 11 AM – 11 PM. Parking is available on the street or in the adjacent lot.

Recommended desserts: Saffron ice cream and saffron faloodeh (Persian dessert made with very thin rice sticks, sugar & saffron).

Saffron ice cream from Paak Foods at Urban Gate
Saffron ice cream from Paak Foods at Urban Gate

Paak Foods
1115 – 573 Sherling Place, Port Coquitlam

A trusted manufacturer of high quality frozen, dried, and refrigerated Iranian and Persian foods, Paak Foods products are available across Canada at retail outlets, restaurants, and wholesale supermarkets and grocery stores, including Urban Gate.

Recommended desserts: Sholed zard (Saffron Rice Pudding), bastani sonnati (Persian Style Saffron Ice Cream), saffron faloodeh (Persian Rice Noodle Dessert).

Ayoub’s Dried Fruit & Nuts
#150 – 2950 Glen Dr., Coquitlam
(Additional locations in Vancouver, the North Shore, and Burnaby)

Using the highest quality raw ingredients from the most trusted suppliers around the world, all of Ayoub’s ingredients are hand roasted in-store daily at storefronts in North Vancouver, Downtown, Kitsilano, Coquitlam, and Burnaby. They are currently also working on a line of white chocolate pistachio with saffron products. One gram and four gram packages of high-quality saffron can also be purchased in-store for $5/gram or $18 for 4 grams.

Recommended desserts: Almonds – lime and saffron (also available in cashews), lime & saffron kernel mix, premium pistachios (shelled) – lime & saffron, saffron swizzle sticks (only available in-store), round pistachios – lime & saffron, saffron vanilla nougat, chubby pumpkin seeds, and date filled cookies.