The Flavors of Persia

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Chef Laura Frankel
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big bowl of meatballs in tomato sauce and basil

Persia was the trade hub for the ancient world. Animals, textiles, metals, gems and foodstuffs all passed through its ports. Ancient Persia was quite the cosmopolitan empire with influences from India, Egypt, Syria and more.

The foods of Persia are exotic and reflect thousands of years of tradition. Pomegranates, pistachios, rose water and almond pastes are just a few of the flavors of Persia that we cherish today.

Jews have a long tempestuous history in Persia that dates back to biblical times. The books of Isaiah, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Chronicles and Esther contain references to Persia. Present day, Iran is the home to the largest Jewish community living in a Muslim-majority country.

Chef’s comment: Where has this food been all my life? Persian food has the same sensibility that I have with ingredients and how to handle them. The cuisine takes advantage of seasonal and fresh ingredients. There are no bags of frozen vegetables, over processed packaged products or jars of dusty dried herbs. This food scream fresh. The flavors are simple and elegant. I love it!

Here are some delicious recipes for your perfect Persian Purim Seudah:
Herbed Meatballs with Rice - Kufteh Berenji
Celery and Mint Khoresh
Saffron Rice
Rosewater Rice Pudding