I just used the saffron that I purchased in a market in Jerusalem and it was bland. I asked the guy why the saffron in the old city was so cheap. (His was more expensive). He said, they use corn husk "hair" and dye it red. Come to find out: that is what HE SOLD ME! If you soak it in water, the fake saffron will turn light colored like corn hair. Real saffron will remain bright orange if soaked for ten minutes. Check out this You Tube if you need a demo.