National Restaurant Association NRA 2024

A Quick blog post on NRA 2024, EnSaffron & Asparagus + Morel Saffron Pasta Recipe
A Dream Came True!

Back in May 2019, after two years of tireless dedication, I walked the halls of the NRA Show, dreaming of the day when I could proudly exhibit my own booth and showcase our products to the world. 

The National Restaurant Association Show (NRA) holds a special place in the hearts of those in the food service and restaurant industry, known for its prestige and trustworthiness.

Fast forward to today, and I'm humbled and overjoyed to announce that Heray Spice (EnSaffron) will be back at the NRA Show, this time at the 2024 edition from May 18th to May 21st at McCormick Place Chicago! It's been a journey fueled by the hard work of my farmers, my dedicated team, and myself, and we're honored to have the opportunity to exhibit once again.

Join us at booth 9357 LakeSide, where we'll be sharing the rich heritage and exquisite flavors of our premium Afghan saffron and spices. Whether you're a seasoned chef, a restaurateur, a writer, or simply a passionate foodie, this is your chance to explore our authentic single-origin products and elevate your culinary creations to new heights.

We're eagerly looking forward to reconnecting with familiar faces and forging new connections with fellow food enthusiasts, sharing our passion for quality spices and inspiring culinary adventures together. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to experience the essence of Heray Spice (EnSaffron) at NRA 2024! See you there!

Introducing EnSaffron 

We're thrilled to announce that Heray Spice LLC is evolving, and we're proud to unveil our new brand name: EnSaffron! While our commitment to providing premium saffron and spices remains steadfast, this change marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for us.

Over the past four months, we've been hard at work behind the scenes, crafting a professional rebrand that reflects our values, vision, and the essence of who we are. EnSaffron represents our dedication to excellence, authenticity, and innovation in the world of culinary delights.

Rest assured, while our brand name may be changing, our mission to deliver the finest Afghan saffron and spices to your table remains unchanged. You can continue to expect the same high-quality products, exceptional service, and dedication to your culinary adventures.

Keep an eye out for our new logo, website updates, emails, and packaging as we gradually transition to the EnSaffron brand. We're incredibly excited about this journey ahead, and we invite you to join us as we embark on this exciting new adventure together! Stay tuned for more updates and surprises along the way.

Asparagus + morel saffron pasta

Hello, and welcome to today’s Stories from Catbird Cottage! Of late, I am loving easy dishes that feel like something luxurious, a groove that’ll carry me through the sultry days of summer. Today brings two perfect-for-Mother’s-Day recipes. They require only modest effort and they deliver huge. You could also of course, just make them for yourself, or have your best buds over for a feast. Both recipes feature spring ingredients that celebrate the excitement of right now, such as asparagus, peas, chives (or ramps, or field garlic), morels, and rhubarb.

Whenever I eat morels these days, it’s because I’ve bought them. I’m lucky to have an excellent grocery store that stocks them when they are in season, however, back when I lived in Alabama, I used to forage morel mushrooms by the pound. It felt like Christmas every time the season began. After scoring pounds at a time, I’d set aside some choice specimens for myself and then bring my haul to various restaurants, to give chefs their pick to incorporate into nightly specials.

This silky pasta recipe is already a treat with the morels, peas, and asparagus, but it has the added special delight of earthy, floral saffron.

Although saffron is a pricey spice, a little goes a long way, and here it makes the dish sing. The saffron I sourced I found at Heray spice. As I spilled a pile of the crimson stamens out onto a plate, I was hit with their intoxicating aroma... there is nothing else quite like saffron.

Heray works directly with farmers in Herat, Afghanistan, who grow the saffron crocus and meticulously harvest the delicate stamens. In the cooperative structure they have formed, Heray ensures farmers are fairly compensated, which helps to uplift the entire community by supporting their spice trade. Whenever possible, I connect to where my food comes from so that I can make the best choice. It’s great to extend this practice further, to lesser-thought-of ingredients, like spices.

In this pasta dish, the addition of Greek yogurt imparts a slightly tangy, strikingly hued “sauce” once the saffron-bloomed water and the yogurt are stirred together. It’s a thing of magic, and hooray, success also comes easily: Incorporating the yogurt once the pasta is off the heat - in addition to stability imparted by the cornstarch - ensures a silky, perfect result. I'll most definitely be making this for guests through the season.