306 - Sweet treats with a Persian twist
By Lauren Gosnell
Sweets have been integral to Persian culture for thousands of years. The word sugar can be traced back to the Persian word "shakar".
It is customary to bring gifts of cookies and pastries to special occasions and gatherings like Persian New Year, Norooz, where sweets are eaten to symbolize a sweet year to come.
Baklava, nougat, shortbread cookies and flaky pastries with fresh whipped cream are among the most popular. The Persian twist is that they flavour their treats with ingredients like almonds, pistachios, rosewater and cardamom.
Nan-e berenji are rice cookies made with cardamom. Nan-e badami are almond cookies flavoured with cardamom and rosewater. Nan-e nokhodchi are made with chickpeas and garnished with pistachios.
At Pars Bakery in Thornhill, they sell cookies as well as tempting pastries that are deliriously tasty.
The Poffaky is a flaky puff pastry with a creamy filling. The base of the dessert is made from rosewater, orange blossom water and cardamom-perfumed dough. It is rolled out and folded about 10 times before baking. The final pastry is filled with custard, fresh whipped cream or jam and topped with sliced pistachio, almonds and coconut. Absolutely divine.
The Rolet is another whipped cream delight using cake instead of pastry and shaped like a Swiss roll.
Pars spices a basic white sponge cake with a bit of saffron. Once baked, it is cut lengthwise into a thin layer and topped with whipped cream. The sheet is rolled then sprinkled with pistachios, almonds, cocoa, cinnamon and chocolate and cut into perfectly proportioned slices. The whipped cream filling melts like cool silk on your tongue.
The bakery also makes fresh flat breads daily like barbari and gata sweet bread.
365 John St.