Glimpses of Persian foods for holidaymakers

March 1, 2021 - 18:45

Iranian food is a highlight of traveling in the country, with considerable variety on offer. While you may often eat cheap meals on the run, remember that for many Iranians, eating is a social event in which food is only half the story.

If you take time over the meal, to savor both the tastes on offer and the company you're sharing it with, you're halfway towards becoming a local.

The basics: Iran is an excellent place to eat out (or in, if you're lucky enough to be invited to a meal in a local family home).

Teahouses:  Traditionally where Iranians would go to socialize and eat, with tea, qalyan (water pipe), and food.

Kebabis: Simple kababis tend to be found around major meydans (squares) and serve, yes, kababs. Eat where the locals eat.

Take-away: Fast food is popular and begins (and often ends) with bread-roll ‘sandwiches’.

Restaurants: Found across the country; most serve ash-e jo (pearly-barley soup) and salad as standard starters

At home: Possibly the best food you'll ever taste.

No Persian meal is complete without an abundance of herbs. Every table is usually set with sabzi khordan, a basket of fresh herbs, radishes, and scallions, which are eaten raw and by the handful. Persian cuisine is, above all, about balance — of tastes and flavors, textures and temperatures.


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