A walk through Persian food, culture

TEHRAN, Nov. 18 (MNA) – According to PersianRestaurant.org, food culture is the practices, attitudes, and beliefs surrounding the production, distribution, and consumption of food. Iran's unique history and geography translates to a diverse mix of cultural influences on the Persian cuisine.

Unlike other parts of the Middle East, Iran has a variable climate with four distinct seasons so a lot of different fruits and herbs could be grown there.

Food Culture and Customs

For Iranians the food is not just a meal but rather a culture in which they use food to express their identity, community, values, status, power, artistry and creativity. That’s why Iranian immigrants bring the food with them wherever they go and cooking Persian food is a way of preserving their culture when they move to new places.

In Iran eating is done family style, with shared dishes and is the major social activity for friends and families. Iranians take their meals very seriously and have many customs to go along with it and put a lot of effort and energy in preparing their meals. There is often more food offered to you than you can eat. Part of Iranian hospitality is to shower guests with abundance. To show respect, Iranian guests finish their food on the plate and try a little from all the dishes served. It is considered very rude to leave food on your plate in an Iranian’s home.

Essential Ingredients

Iranian food is some of the most delicious and fresh in its region and the world. It is also quite healthy, using only small amounts of red meat (usually lamb). Next to lamb in importance is kid (young goat), and very occasionally beef and chicken. Many varieties of local fish are eaten, but almost no seafood. Rice and bread are the staple foods of the Iranians which they eat with meat and vegetable dishes along with herbs and yogurt. Rice preparation is indeed a food art in Iran and of great contrast to the majority of countries who merely boil their rice. There are endless varieties of dishes that can be prepared with rice in Iran. Iranians also use a variety of breads such as Sangak, Barbari and Lavash.                            

Many coveted ingredients are native to Iran, including pistachios, almonds, walnuts, saffron, mint, oranges, pomegranates and grapes. Saffron is big part of Iranian cuisine and is used pretty extensively. About eighty percent of world’s saffron comes from Iran. It is the most expensive and sought after spice in the world, that’s the reason it has been called the Iran's "red gold."

Classic Persian Foods

Kebab is the national dish of Iran and you can find it in any Persian Restaurant. The meal is simple, consisting of steamed, saffroned Persian rice and Kebab.

There are various types of stews in Iran and some of classic and most popular ones are listed below:

  1. Fesenjan (Pomegranate Walnut Stew)
  2. Gheymeh (Yellow Split Peas Stew)
  3. Gormeh Sabzi (Green Herb Stew)
  4. Khoresh Bademjan (Eggplant Stew)

Source: www.PersianRestaurant.org

News Code 139693

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