Zafaran | All about Saffron

Persina mortar and pestle (havan) and a package of persian saffron threads on a paisely termeh cloth background | (Persian Cooking and culture blog)

Persian saffron threads in a package with silver measuring spoon | (Persian Cooking and Culture blog)

[This post scheduled to publish while I’m on my Epic Trip to Iran, part 2.]

Saffron (called za’faran زعفران in Farsi) is a lovely spice. It adds color, flavor and fragrance to food; and to top it off, saffron boasts an incredible range of health benefits as well, including acting as an appetite stimulant and digestive aid.

Adding to the lure and allure of saffron is that it is harvested from pretty, purple crocus flowers. No one could invent a cooler, more gorgeous packaging! Nature is the supreme artist. Divine, one might even say! ;)

basket of purple saffron crocus flowers from Kashmir | @FigandQuince (Persian food culture blog)

The Purple Saffron Crocus of Kashmir | Source: @Freejust1

Isn’t this photo a beautiful vision? The image is courtesy of @Freejust1, a Twitter friend who harvested these beauties from his own garden in Kashmir. (A Kashmiri garden that has a fairy tale view of mountains by the way! Remember from the post about azgil aka loquat? Scroll down to see!)

Saffron Crocus Flowering Plant | Cloisters Garden, New York, 2013 | (Persian Cooking and Culture blog)

Saffron Crocus Flowering Plants | Cloisters Garden, New York, 2013

Here’s a photo of saffron crocus plants growing in the beautiful gardens of The Cloisters in New York. (An enchanted corner of New York City that you must visit.) The Cloisters gardens also boast of pear and quince trees! Very pretty.

If you ever get a chance to look closely at saffron flowers you will detect that nestled inside the crocus flower’s pretty purple leaves are 3 fragile crimson colored antennas — I call them antennas but they are properly called “stigmas”– which when harvested will become 3 saffron threads. No stigma in this game!

Can you now then venture a guess as to why saffron is so expensive? Plucking flowers by hand and carefully separating the 3 saffron stigmas to harvest just 3 saffron threads takes a good bit of time; and it takes a heap of delicate saffron threads to make just yek mesgal (tiny bit) of zafaran. How many flowers does it take to produce just one pound of saffron? “Something like 50,000 flowers!” [Source] Isn’t that something? And that, my friends, is why saffron is the world’s most expensive spice. But: worth every riyal and dinero and dollar and pence!

Don’t you wish you could grow your own pretty crocus plants and harvest saffron? I surely wish I could plant a field of dreamy purple haze.  [I love this blog post about someone who did just that and planted saffron crocus and harvested saffron threads.]

saffron thread, saffron water shown being used on stove to making persian food |

With its diverse utility and stunning and alluring aesthetic lure, it makes sense why saffron is beloved globally in nearly every culture’s cuisines. One example being the cuisine of Kashmir where per our friend @Freejust1 (who bestowed that beautiful photo of saffron flowers above) saffron is used in kehwa, tea without milk, in halwa, and also in many preparations of mutton.

Saffron is of course a treasured staple ingredient and cornerstone of Persian cuisine – in some ways synonymous with Persian food. Nothing beats the glorious aroma of saffron-laced Persian food spreading its heavenly angel wings in the kitchen; or the gorgeous crimson color that saffron so generously bestows upon food at first touch; and of course nothing rivals the crowning glory of saffron in Persian cooking: fluffy crimson-crowned Persian saffron-scented rice.

Green goblet filled with dense creamy Persian rosewater and saffron ice cream in Iranian cafe, Tehran, Iran, 2014 | (Persian cooking and culture blog)

Dense & creamy saffron & rosewater Persian ice cream | Tehran, Iran 2014

Myriad Persian recipes (not just rice dishes but everything from dessert to stews to caramelized onions to Persian ice cream) count saffron as a vital ingredient.

The foundational first step of using saffron in any and all Persian recipes starts with 1) grinding saffron into a fine powder and then 2) making ab ‘e zafaran or saffron water,

Both are quite easy to do once you’ve seen how it’s done. Let’s check out a few homemade videos on “how to grind saffron” and “how to make saffron water” and for good measure, I’ll also include a very simple recipe for making saffron tea.

How to Grind Saffron

You know what I love about grinding saffron? The wonderfully enticing ensuing aroma. I also love the soothing rhythmic soundtrack when grinding saffron in a traditional Persian ha’van (pestle and mortar.)  In the video below check out my little nephew grinding saffron in a darling mini Persian havan with his darling wee hands.

(I scored this cute little “ha’van” in Isfahan on a trip with my lovely aunt. I must, must, must write soon all about Isfahan.)

Would you like to see a grown up version of grinding saffron? Why you are in luck and here’s Laya in LA LA Land show you!

Laya’s tip for grinding saffron: To finely grind saffron threads in a mortar and pestle Laya recommends that you add a sugar cube to it. This is a trick Laya learned from her mother – Mrs. Lavassani – an accomplished lady who started a school called Honarestan in Tehran. (The very same school where Roza Montazemi, a revered Iranian cookbook author, was one of her students.)

How to Make Saffron Water

Making saffron water (dissolving ground saffron in hot water) is one of the steps in countless Persian food recipes. Nothing is easier. Would you like to see how to do it? Watch Laya!

As you can see, all you need to do to make saffron water it dissolve a bit of ground saffron in hot water and brew for at least 10 or so minutes to release its color, flavor and aroma. Easy breezy!

How to Make a Quick Saffron Tea

To take advantage of the many health benefits of saffron, it makes sense to partake of saffron as often as possible, ideally on a daily basis. But who has time to make Persian saffron-kissed rice every day? A good, healthy, and easy way to get your saffron fix is to make saffron tea. Here’s how:

Make tea as usual in a teapot and add 1/3 teaspoon ground saffron. Brew for 10 minutes and you’ll have a wonderful and fragrant saffron tea. I drink this w/out sugar but if you’d like, it goes well with nabat or a cube of sugar. You know what else goes great with saffron tea? A COOKIE!

nabat (Persian rock candy) , cookie and Persian tea cup, cafe in Tehran, Iran | (Persian Cooking and Culture blog)

almond cardamom cookies and saffron rock candy

And that’s it folks!

Khoda hafez till we meet again and may until then & forever more your kitchens be imbued with the heavenly scent of saffron!


daffodile graphic icon illustrated digital illustration

[ps To follow along my excellent journey as I travel on my second epic trip to Iran (and please do!) there’s Twitter, my personal Facebook page, Fig & Quince’s Facebook page, and Instagram .]

Internet: Persian Style! | Part #5

family taking photo at Ibn Sina tomb

[This post scheduled to publish while I’m on my Epic Trip to Iran, part 2.]

Let’s start perusing the Persian nooks and crannies of cyberspace in part #5 of Internet: Persian Style series! with this paparazzi style family portrait. What did we all ever do before smart phones? I wonder if Ibn-Sina would have enjoyed putzing around on his smart phone? I have a feeling he would have greatly enjoyed it actually. Ancient polymaths: They are just like us!

Such a quiet and serene shot! It feels like a short poem. In one of my favorite cities in Iran: Isfahan. (Nesf’e jahan!)

Maybe masked portraits would dethrone the reign of the selfies? Doubt it.

Anyhow, the lady in the photo is holding a children’s music album called “Red Autobus” to cover her head. She mentions how a chance conversation at work prompted the purchase and that the music, while geared towards children, can be enjoyed by all who enjoy cheerful and fun songs.

Photos and stories like this are the reason I’m such a besotted fan of @Pedestrian on Instagram and on Twitter

This is the Iranian singer named Ramesh in the pre-revolution Iran of the 1970s. When it came to pop stars, Googoosh was number #1 in popularity and then there was Ramesh. Googoosh was all coy and charm, and Ramesh was all edgy and fierce. Image found via @reorientmag a hip, trendy and nearly scholarly magazine “celebrating contemporary Middle Eastern arts and culture.” And celebrate it does, with style to spare!

Thus concludes our relatively sedate yet hopefully entertaining round #5 tour of some interesting nooks and crannies of Persian cyberspace.

Green Smoothie! Persianized!

Persianized green smoothie with dinosaur! |@figandQuince (Persian food culture blog)

My dinosaur guards my Persianized green smoothie!

[This post scheduled to publish while I’m on my Epic Trip to Iran, part 2.]

I pretty much live on green smoothies – a blending of yogurt and veggies and fruit. My blender is the hardest working member of the household you might say, I suppose, and it is not entirely rewarded for its labor, save for showing signs of wear and tear. No day spa for my (non union) blender! Oh no!Still life with Persianized green smoothie, dinosaur & colored pencils | @figandquince (Persian food culture blog) #recipe

My green smoothie concoctions have served me well, morphing here and then with seasonal ingredients and moods. I’m a creature of habit when it comes to what goes in my smoothie, a serial monogamist, that is to say I’m loyal to a fault to a particular combo until one day, I’m not, and boom, it’s time to move on!

There was a time when I was fixated on using macca powder and goji berries; there was that time when flax seeds were a must; there was a bout of using soy or almond milk instead of dairy but for a long while now, I have a very streamlined staple list of ingredients.

Right now my magic formula for making a delicious and super healthy green smoothie potion is to take a whole bunch of fresh kale (at least 2 cups, use more to thicken smoothie, less if you like your smoothie with less “grassie” flavor) a large ripe banana (a MUST ingredient, as it is the only sweetening agent), water to dilute (one cup or more depending on how much kale I use) and one cup of whole plain yogurt. That’s it. And it’s great — a balanced if not dazzling flavor. But recently I’ve also been on a kick of Persianizing my green smoothie and have concocted my own mixed spice Persian advieh that hits the spot and delivers a punch of health benefits into the bargain. It’s a keeper!

What does it takes to Persianize my green smoothie?

Persian advieh (mixed spice) for green smoothie | @figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

My green smoothie’s Persian advieh (mixed spice)

dried mint, senjed powder, chia seeds, turmeris, and crushed rose powder in small bowls | @FigandQuince (Persian food culture blog)

A good looking bunch of advieh (mixed spice) to Persianize your green smoothies

Here’s the cast of the usual suspects, in a line up, from left to right:

dried mint, senjed powder, chc chc chia seeds (remember I just posted about they myriad goodness of chia seeds last week) turmeric, and dried rose powder.

Not pictured but an exquisite and requisite little touch for both health and that je ne sais quoi touch: rosewater and saffron water!


The reason smoothies are so popular is that they deliver lots of nutrients in a few smoothly delicious gulps. Without further ado, voila presto my favorite Persianized green smoothie’s recipe that makes two delightful frothy servings. Dinosaurs not included!

Click here for the Persianized Green Smoothie Recipe!

Ch Ch Ch Chia seeds! | Tokhm ‘e Sharbat (Tokhm ‘eh Raiyhan)

chia seeds flower & Persian newspaper still life | @figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

Chia seeds (tokhm ‘e sharbat) | Nothing to be cross about!

[This post scheduled to publish while I’m on my Epic Trip to Iran, part 2.]

Before the social climbing advent of chia seeds as one in a series of trendy superfoods sweeping the U.S., what the noun “chia” used to conjure were …. Chia Pets! Remember those? Chia pets were all the rage in the early 1980s. I am pretty sure we bought and grew and housed a lamb-shaped Chia Pet in the very first suburban American house we came to call home after leaving Iran. I can’t swear on it, but I think Chia Pets might even have existed in Iran. (Total Aside: Two truly kitsch popular-craze Western products that did exist in the 1970s Iran of my childhood were: the cuckoo clock and Felix the cat clock. One of my earliest memories is that cute and crazy little bird springing purposefully (and somewhat manically, ha ha) out of her quirky wooden house hung on the wall of our living room and going: cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo! As for the Felix the Cat clock — with his big mischievous eyes moving one way, the tail swaying another, hypnotic to behold  — I am pretty sure that practically all of my childhood friends, including most probably myself, had one in their bedrooms.)

WHERE WAS I? Ah yes, chia seeds! Tokhm ‘e sharbat or tokhm ‘e raihan in Farsi. Salvia Hispanica in Latin. A species of flowering plant in the mint family popular with the Aztec and Mayan cultures and also popular with Iranians who use it to make delicious thirst-quenching sharbats (remember this Drinking in Iran post?) or just soak it in water and drink it up like medicine for its its thousand and one health and nutritional benefits.chia seeds flower & Persian newspaper still life | @figandquince (Persian food culture blog)chia seeds flower & Persian newspaper still life | @figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

The many benefits of chia seeds (tokhm ‘e sharbat):

The monicker of super food is not an exaggeration for our cute little seeds — indeed they are super full of antioxidants and a magnificent source of Omega 3. (Recently dubbed a “miracle food” as well since they suppress the appetite and can help one lose weight.)

Maman says that back in the day (“garneh pish!“), postpartum women were taken to hamoom (public baths) in a ceremony and pampered and served chia seed sharbat and she said now it makes sense why because chia seeds are a wonderful source of calcium!

NOTE: Chia seeds have glutten so for those following a glutten free diet, sadly, you need avoid these miracle seeds.

Aside from getting Dr. Google’s input or my esteemed mother’s anecdotal information, I thought I’d also reach out to Nirvana (a dear friend who is as wonderful as her name may lead you think she might be, who is a superb nutrition & wellness consultant and the founder of Nourished Living) to get Nirvana’s sage and expert 2 cents as well.chia seeds flower & Persian newspaper still life | @figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

Nirvana joon is a fan of chia seeds!  She reports that chia seeds are “high in fiber (helpful for digestion, and keeps one satiated for longer) and are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial to the body’s fight against inflammation. Nirvana further reports that “chia seeds are a great (and easy) way to add more antioxidants to your diet and are also a surprisingly good source of minerals such as calcium and magnesium.”

That’s it then, if chia seeds (tokhm ‘e sharbat) get the seal of approval from Aztecs, Mayans, trendy and healthy hipsters in the U.S., my mom, Nirvana joon and ancient Persians, would you need any further proof to do everything you can to zestfully add them to your diet? Thought not!

Where to buy chia seeds/best quality:

In the New York area, chia seeds are also widely available in various health food stores, but I actually buy mine online. Once again, however, I turned to Nirvana for her input and Nirvana joon reports that: “Organic is always best, raw organic is even better. I don’t really stick to a specific brand to be honest – I usually buy a big bag which lasts in the fridge for quite a few months before I need to restock. Right now I have some International Harvest raw and organic seeds in my kitchen (I think from Whole Foods).”

So there you have it. And if you don’t have it, go and get it!

How to add chia seeds to your diet:

How best to consume chia seeds? In the summer and as an occasional treat, sharbat will hit the spot, and I shall turn you over to Turmeric & Saffron, one of my all time favorite Persian food bloggers, for a wonderful chia seeds sharbat (sharbat ‘e tokhme sharbati) recipe.

If you are not in the mood for either sugar or recreation, make a plain herbal drink by soaking chia seeds in some water till they turn gelatinous (for at least 15 minutes or overnight if you wish) and drink it up. To add some joie de vivre to the concoction, you may want to add a bit of rosewater to it.

Nirvana joon suggests using chia seeds in smoothies as well as sprinkled over steel-cut oatmeals and notes that “there are some really creative uses for those little seeds out there – everything from using them to make puddings, in salads, to even as a skin exfoliator!”

Personally, my favorite method of adding chia seeds to my daily diet is adding them to my breakfast smoothie. I love green smoothies and I love my recent Persianized iteration of it that among other things counts chia seeds as a key ingredient.

Go ahead and get some chia seeds and start soaking them and I’ll be back with the recipe of my delicious and nutritious Persianized green smoothie recipe (now with chia seeds!) before you know it.

Meanwhile, I plan to hypnotize you with some psychedelic chia seeds dancing (bonus: to lovely Persian music) below! ;)

xoxo till very soon!

Orange you glad to see me?

Oranges in a bowl on orange background | @FigandQuince (Persian food culture blog)

Oranges on Orange

Dinosaur toy on orange background still life | @figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

A dinosaur in Brooklyn, New York | Norooz 2012

Dried flowers in a jar | Brooklyn, NY 2012 @Figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

Dried flowers in a jar | Brooklyn, NY 2012

matchstick cut carrots in bowl on Mishimeko plate and orange background | @Figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

Matchstick cut carrots for havij polo (Persian carrot rice)

Spoonful of dried mint Orange background sunlit still life | @figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

Dried mint | fragrant staple of Persian cooking

halved winter pumpkin on oragen background still life |@figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

A seedy affair

halved winter pumpkin on oragen background still life |@figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

A seedy pair

Gardening seed packets

Seeds! When spring is but a promise!

red wheat, used to sprout green for Norooz | @FigandQuince (Persian food culture blog)

Red Wheat on Orange to sprout Green!

Red wheat seeds on cutting board orange background still lfie | @figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

Red Wheat Seeds – coddled to grow & sprout sabzeh

lentil sprouts, egg holder on Michimeko plate orange background | @figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

hint of green sprout on Orange

Green grass lentil sprouts (sabzeh) in glass jar on orange background

Green sabzeh in jam jar on orange background

Wheatgrass and yellow tulip still life | @Figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

Still life with sabzeh & a foregone yellow tulip! | Norooz 2012

squash (kadoo halvaee) grated in blue bowl on orange background | @Figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

Grated squash to add je ne sais quoi charm to Khoresh fesenjan

grated cantaloup, Japanese spoon on orange background | #recipe @FigandQuince (Persian food culture blog)

grated cantaloup for yummy paloodeh talebi!

3 persimmons blue nightstand still life |@figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

Persimmon (khormaloo) | a fruit fraught with personal history

Merry go round toy, jar orange peels & pink egg still life orange background | @FigandQuince (Persian food culture blog)

merry go round; pink egg, orange peels & sabzeh | Norooz 2012

Star anise & orange peels potpourri in glass jar | @Figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

Star anise & orange peels| pretty homemade potpourri

bowl of oranges, pussy willow branches stil life blue wall orange background |@FigandQuince (Persian food culture blog)

Orange & Blue Rhapsody

havij polo ta'dig (crunchy crust of Persian carrot rice) orange background | @figandquince (Persian food blog)

havij polo ta’dig (crunchy crust of Persian carrot rice)

bowl of oranges, pussy willow branches stil life blue wall orange background |@FigandQuince (Persian food culture blog)

Orange & Blue Rhapsody

Oranges in red bowl still life | @Figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

Oranges in red bowl

Oranges close up |@figandquince (Persian food culture blog)

Oranges, intimately yours

[This post scheduled to publish while I’m on my Epic Trip to Iran, part 2.]

Recently I craved decluttering — a veritable urge to get rid of extra and extraneous stuff that extended not just to physical things but also my thoughts (getting all deep and philosophical on you here and progress report is that the abode of my thoughts still needs a good and proper and vigorous khoneh takooni and maybe even refurbishing) and also all the computer and digital stuff and junk as well. I don’t know about yours but my computer desktop and folders — bulging and busting at the seams — were in need of a good non-sentimental editing. The process of feng shuing my digital life has been a fun, comforting, purifying, unnerving, daunting and overwhelming endeavor all at the same time! Fraught with fussy deliberations! Is it best to save beaucoup MBs and delete a bunch of slightly different versions of a photo in a series, or do I risk ruing the day in the future where one or more of these would have been perfect and by then it’s too late and they are in that big cyber trashcan up in cyberheaven? Mostly, in my zest, I’ve answered this modern philosophical dilemma with brutal keystrokes of destruction: control+Q! Deleting with gusto! It has not been all annihilation, however; the counterpart of the editing journey has been getting reacquainted with forgotten scribblings (oh when will I ever get to organize and purge those) and lots of photos that I really like but have never used. I thought I’d share some of the pix with you. Hence this post. A post which may become a series. Who knows. I’m juggling way too many series over here as it is. So as this is not being entirely random, we have a theme: orange!

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?


Orange who?

Orange you going to humor me and enjoy this decluttering post? ;)

[ps To follow along my excellent journey as I travel on my second epic trip to Iran (and please do!) there’s Twitter, my personal Facebook page, Fig & Quince’s Facebook page, and Instagram .]


Azgil or Loquat | A thing like that!

[This post scheduled to publish while I’m on my Epic Trip to Iran, part 2.]

So a few weeks ago I went on Twitter asking for help identifying the fruit in this photo (that I had snapped sometime last spring time during my epic trip to Iran) because for the life of me, I could no longer remember its name. Twitter friends came out fast and furious to help (in a good way!) and before you knew it, my mystery fruit was identified as loquat (in English) or azgil ازگیل (in Farsi) or Mespilus Germanica if you want to get all botanical and Latin about it.

A Twitter friend informed me that loquats are quite popular in Pakistan.

Then @Freejust1 told me that there are sweet and sour varieties of loquat in Kashmir and that the tree blossoms in November. He then made me quite jealous by boasting of not just loquat but also peach and pomegranate trees growing in the yard of his house in Kashmir! To prove his point, @Freejust1 shared a peek of his garden in bloom and then he just had to really rub it in by sharing a photo of this view of the mountains from his garden!

I mean! Look at that! I have a bump on my head because I swooned and tumbled off my chair! I have decided that I may just move to Kashmir! Where I may feel quite at home apparently because according to @FreeJust1 “Iran has always had a deep cultural influence on Kashmir which is known in the subcontinent as iran-i-sagheer. (Iran ‘e sagheer means little Iran, by the way.)

Back to our fruit, it turns out loquat (azgil) grows abundantly in California as well, particularly in the San Diego area, and many Californians can boast of having a few of its trees growing in their yards. Laura Bashar, fellow Persian food blogger compatriot over at Family Spice also waxed poetic about the abundance of loquat in San Diego and Tannaz, another dear Persian food blogger, over at All Kinds of Yum noted: “my area of LA blows up with loquats in spring. I have (non-Persian) friends with a tree who make jam from them.” OK, Tannazie, no need to brag! ;) Another Twitter friend @Dawn_Hawk mentioned her 3 loquat trees as well and made mention that the loquat fruit in her yard were ripening right on the branches as we bantered on Twitter! She also invited me to go harvest them in California! What a sweet offer! I’d love to accept. In fact,  after moving to Kashmir, I will then move to California. (Honestly though, after my recent visits to Los Angeles I swear I am this close and so very tempted to move to Tehrangeles for real and I’d do it too in a New York minute were it not for the deal breaking factors of the cars and the sun, ha ha. After all these years of happily dwelling car-free in New York, I cringe at the thought of having to own and drive a car and navigate traffic and I’m somewhat like a vampire, verily shunning the sun, so as you can see I would not fare well in sunny southern California.)

I was so happy to have received immediate and straightforward answer to my “Identify this mystery fruit” Twitter query but of course @RezaShaer just had to volunteer that: “I think these are called Azgil Japoni, Different from regular Azgil.” Of course, as an attorney, it behooves him to make such distinctions! Echoed by a couple of other people as well who observed that the fruit in the pic are actually called Japanese azgil. Then someone said that “no, these are not loquat” but rather a fruit calledkonar, however, others objected vehemently and pointed out that azgil is not be mixed up with Konar that does look very similar but is smaller and is a fruit of an entirely different type of tree. But people, oy vey, let’s not even worry about these things!

Konar! Fruit of

Konar! Fruit of “sedr” tree in Tajrish Bazaar | Tehran, Iran

It’s so funny! I Googled for images of “konar fruit” and found one of my very own pictures, ha ha, that I’d published in a post about my tour of the fabulous Tajrish bazaar in Tehran. A fruit which I back then reported as “quite popular to eat in the southern regions of Iran”, and one that “tastes something like a combination of apples and pears.”  Sounds pretty good to me! According to the yellow sign, konar is also good for problems with diabetes, cholesterol, nausea and lung diseases and filled to the brim vitamins A, B, C and calcium. That sounds pretty good too! And also, a sweet friend tells me that “they make ‘sedr’ which is the what they used as shampoo back in the day (and some still do) from the leaves of konar tree.” Very neat, no? According to my friend @andoust whose mom used to make her put the sedr “shampoo” in her hair couple of times a month after her regular shower, it did wonders for the hair. “My grandma and her mom before her all used it too.” Ha! Must give it a try if I get a chance! 

I swear that writing about and exploring Persian food sometimes feels like being Alice in the Wonderland and falling down the rabbit hole and bouncing from one amazing thing to another so that you forget where you started and have no idea where you might end up. It’s all fascinating but for the interest of efficiency and for the sake of my sanity (what little shreds and jagged shards of it remain) I’ll pretend I never did hear of this distinction between Japanese and regular azgil and I will be in steadfast denial about dealing further with konar as well! (La la la, my fingers are in my ears. I know not what you speak of.) But seriously, sigh, I’ll honor my blogging duties and look into it and report back one of these days.

In conclusion, it was fun how much activity this one simple question generated (drawing comments from Kashmir, San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, Iran and Pakistan and elsewhere) and it just shows how much people love talking about and discussing food and food related stuff on social media.

Thank you lovely Twitter and FB friends: @Dawn_Hawk @Eyeblinks @sidewalk lyrics @RezaShaer @Freejust1 @HameedPooya and Laura and Tannaz and @zozobaking and @anadoust.

And let’s end this fruity (but not nutty) post with a couple of other sightings of azgil aka loquat aka Mespilus Germanica (a sweet fruit which may just be Japanese azgil but is not to be confused however under any circumstance with Konar) as captured by your faithful blogger, aka moi, during what I frequently and persistently (although hopefully not annoyingly) refer to as #myepictriptoiran.

Graden in Shiraz, Iran with blooms and loquat fruit | @FigandQuince (Persian food culture blog)

Azgil (loquat) in Shiraz, Iran

Fallen branch with unripe azgil (loquat) in my va va voom’s aunt‘s garden in Shiraz, Iran.

Azgil (loquat) fruit in blue glass goblet in Tehran, Iran |@FigandQuince (Persian food culture blog)

Azgil in blue glass goblets in Haleh’s kitchen in Tehran, Iran

And azgil as detected (and very probably gobbled up shortly thereafter) in blue glass goblets in lovely Haleh‘s kitchen.

That’s it folks!

Till soon’ish & until then may you have many ripe delicious things in your fridge!

My Epic Trip to Iran – Part 2! | A New Journey!

My epic trip to Iran is so 2014! Here we are in 2015 and brushing up against 2016 — and guess what? Yes, yes, YES! I’m going back for a nice long visit to Iran again!

This time I’m going with my folks. It’s their first visit back after 20 years.

One occasion is my cousin’s wedding —  we are all tickled pink by the idea of seeing him as a sha’damad and I’m delighted by the idea of actually attending a real Iranian wedding in Iran!

Another occasion is that my mom is having her first solo art exhibit at Haft Samar Gallery in Tehran! The opening reception is September 18th. (The gallery’s website will be updated in a week or so — after their summer hiatus — with all the relevant info.) If you’re in Tehran, do come and say hi! (دوستان حتما بیایید!)

Yet another occasion is something exciting in the works for moi, but I will keep that under the wraps as a surprise till later.

I’ll be off for a couple of months. In my absence, I’ve scheduled a few blog posts that I hope you’ll enjoy. This time around, I won’t blog while traveling in Iran (I have my priorities straight finally and plan to devote that time on eating kooloocheh instead) but I definitely plan to post updates and pix of sights and food (yummy yummy Persian food) every chance I find via social media. If you do want to follow along my excellent journey (and please do!) there’s Twitter, my personal Facebook page, Fig & Quince’s Facebook page, and Instagram which may just be the best option.


Khoda hafez for now and till soon my friends!

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