UNESCO picks Kermanshah as ‘creative city’ of gastronomy

November 9, 2021 - 18:54

TEHRAN – The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization has picked up Iran’s Kermanshah as a ‘creative city’ of gastronomy.

A paradise for history-lovers, nature-enthusiasts, and foodies, Kermanshah was among 49 cities worldwide to join the UNESCO creative cities network (UCCN) on Monday.

The 49 cities were added to the network of 246 cities following their designation by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, in recognition of "their commitment to placing culture and creativity at the heart of their development and to sharing knowledge and good practices".

According to a release posted on the UNESCO site, the network now numbers 295 cities reaching 90 countries that invest in culture and creativity – crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music – to advance sustainable urban development.

“A new urban model needs to be developed in every city, with its architects, town planners, landscapers, and citizens,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

“We are urging everyone to work with States to reinforce the international cooperation between cities which UNESCO wishes to promote,” she added.

No Persian meal is complete without an abundance of herbs. Every table is set with sabzi-khordan, a basket of fresh herbs, radishes, and scallions often tucked into a piece of fresh flatbread with a bite of feta, cucumber, or walnuts.The inclusion is likely to pave way for the western city to represent its traditional dishes and foods on the global stage through UNESCO.

“Kermanshah has earned the title of ‘the city of food’, which is expected to lead to the prosperity of tourism in the city,” the mayor of Kermanshah, Amir Rahimi, said on Monday.

Iran is the paradise of foodies. Every province and even every city of Iran has its own specific delectable dishes. So, one can enjoy a wide range of foods here in Iran; and Kermanshah is one of the most popular places among foodies.

The cornerstone of every Persian meal is rice or Polo. Persian cuisine is, above all, about balance — of tastes and flavors, textures and temperatures. In every meal, even on every plate, you’ll find both sweet and sour, soft and crunchy, cooked and raw, hot and cold.

No Persian meal is complete without an abundance of herbs. Every table is set with sabzi-khordan, a basket of fresh herbs, radishes, and scallions, which are eaten raw and by the handful, often tucked into a piece of fresh flatbread with a bite of feta, cucumber, or walnuts.

By joining the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), cities commit to sharing their best practices and developing partnerships involving the public and private sectors as well as civil society in order to strengthen the creation, production, distribution, and dissemination of cultural activities, goods, and services. They also pledge to develop hubs of creativity and innovation and broaden opportunities for creators and professionals in the cultural sector.

Here are seven dishes you should eat in Kermanshah:

Dande Kebab

Kebab has a special place among Iranians. Dande Kebab (lamb ribs kebab) is one of the original, official, famous, and delicious Kebabs in Kermanshah.

Kermanshahi chefs prepare a sauce with a combination of tomato paste, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and saffron and pour it on kebabs repeatedly during the cooking and preparation process. After cooking the food it can be served with rice or bread decorated with onion, lemon, or sour orange.

Khoresht-e Khalal

This is one of the most popular competitors of Dande Kebab. Khoresht-e Khalal has a specific feature: it can satisfy different people with different tastes. So, everybody will enjoy it.

Its ingredients are usually lamb meat, slices of almond, black barberry, saffron, oil, onion, salt, Omani Limon, and so on. This delectable Khoresht is served with rice. This Khoresht contains lots of iron and protein, so eat in Kermanshah and get the power of a champion – Kermanshah people are enthusiastic fans of champions and championships.

Ash-e Abbas Ali

Kermanshah is really cold during the winter, that’s why people cook various kinds of “Ashes” or thick soups in the cold season. One of the most popular and delicious winter dishes of Kermanshah is Ash-e Abbas Ali.

The story of the food, according to what people say, goes back to the First Pahlavi period. In this single period of history, religious rituals were prohibited for a while. That is why a person named Abbas Ali began cooking this kind of Ash in a mosque and distributing it among people. The Ash, therefore, was known as Ash-e Abbas Ali.

Today, Ash-e Abbas Ali is very popular among people. You can enjoy its delicious taste if you are visiting Kermanshah in winter.

Jegar-o Boz

You can have Jegar-o Boz only in Kermanshah. This is a completely different dish. Jegar-o Boz is a kind of local sausage but a really healthy one. It is prepared by the liver of sheep – yummy.

The liver of sheep is kebabed (roasted) under the ashes of the fire. When it is cooked, it should be mixed with salt, pepper, and turmeric.

Kookooye Paghare

Paghare is one of the popular vegetables that grow on Kermanshah’s mountains. People use vegetables to cook a local dish named Kookooye Paghare. In addition to its pleasing odor, this vegetable has some medical properties as well.

Notice that using Paghare to cure diseases related to the stomach and intestines is recommended by doctors. You can find this mountain vegetable in Kermanshah markets during the spring.  Kookooye Paghare should be cooked with egg, flour, vegetables, turmeric, oil, onion, and garlic. In fact, vegetarians can eat in Kermanshah healthy foods.

Sib Polo

The variety of Iranian Polos is due to the use of different vegetables. There is a specific kind of Polo cooked in Kermanshah named Sib Polo. The name of the Polo is because of the great amount of Sibzamini (potato) in the dish. In fact, potato is the main ingredient of this Polo – after rice of course.

Sib Polo is one of the delectable Polos you have ever enjoyed. The ingredients of Sib Polo include potato, mutton, raisin, saffron, date, and butter.

Valak Polo

Mountain vegetables are really popular among Kermanshah people. That’s why people are healthy; you may also want to eat in Kermanshah and enjoy healthy foods.

Kermanshah people cook one of their tasty local dishes by the use of another mountain vegetable named Valak or Kool – as local people say. This is also one of the useful vegetables growing in spring.

The other ingredients of Valak Polo include the beef tongue, local oil, rice, salt, saffron, and pepper. You can cook the Polo with chicken, fish, or mutton as well.

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