306 - Persian flavours

By Lauren Gosnell

Iran has some big nuts - jumbo pistachios in fact. Grown in the city of Kerman, Iran, jumbo pistachios get their extra large size from the soil – and not from hormones, which is usually the case with Californian pistachios.

The pistachio tree is native to Iran and although there are 11 species, only one produces edible nuts.

Tavazo Dried Fruits and Nuts has been exporting Iranian pistachios to the world for over 25 years. Its pistachios are completely natural.

Once the pistachio is taken from the tree, its skin is removed and the nut is dried in a special oven. The result is a satisfying, salty nut. Beware - once you start eating them, it’s hard to stop!

strawberriesFor a sweeter snack, Tavazo’s dried fruits are both healthy and tasty. There is no added sugar or preservatives so the dried fruit is 100% natural – a perfect treat for kids.

One of the most difficult fruits to dry is the strawberry because it is only 2% fruit and 98% water. Tavazo uses special ovens in Iran to delicately remove water from the fruit. As a result, its dried strawberries retain their stunning natural colour and taste.

dried bananasOther favourites - apple, mango, pineapple, barberries and even pomegranate - are also dried in Iran and exported to Canada.

Pistachios and dried fruits are used throughout Persian cuisine. Pistachio slivers called Qazvin pistachios are used for cooking and baking. They are greener in colour and oilier then regular pistachios. They also make a great, healthy snack because they are rich in fibre and nutrients, lower cholesterol and provide antioxidants to the body.

nutsDried fruits are used mostly in Persian cuisine for snacking but also served as a special treat at Norooz, the Persian New Year that takes place on the first day of spring. The dried barberry – a tart and decorative red berry - is used in a rice dish called Zereshkpolo. This dish has saffron, rice, barberry and pistachio slivers.

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