Fresh saffron is not the same as fresh produce. Saffron threads are not sold right after being plucked from the flower. Saffron threads need to be properly dehydrated to avoid mold and to prolong its shelf life. Once the dehydration process is complete then the saffron is ready to be sold. The term “fresh saffron” refers to saffron that is less than one year old. The finest quality saffron comes from fresh saffron. You might read elsewhere that fresh saffron is identified by the orange color on the tips of the saffron threads. This certainly is not a sign to identify fresh saffron but rather denotes quality saffron.