A Partial Lusty Tour of the Food I Ate in Iran! | Part 3

Tea, dates & sweets - A fitting end to a fine Persian meal | Shiraz, Iran

Tea, dates & sweets – A fitting end to a fine Persian meal | Shiraz, Iran

Hi y’all! I’m finally back from my epic (I kid you not) trip to Iran!

Well, actually, I’ve been back for a good few weeks by now but (thanks to a sluggish combination of jetlag, a bout of being blue about leaving Iran, and writer’s block) it has taken me awhile to slide into the old blogging groove.

The writer’s block is certainly not due to a dearth of interesting things to report and share with you – the reverse in fact – I have so many stories, pix and videos to share. Instead, this has been more of a challenge of mustering motivation and focus. Kind of like standing in front of a fully stocked fridge and pantry — bursting with all sorts of delicious and exotic ingredients — and wondering: “But what should I make? What shall I make?” And in the frustrating process of indecisive, perfectionist (and I admit, lethargic) hand-wringing, ending up going hungry and involuntarily fasting!

But I do intend to snap out of this and tell you all about my glorious and controversial homeland of Iran – a most paradoxical country – and share tales of what was an intense and significant personal milestone of a trip. I experienced deep highs and crushing lows; climbed many hills and mountains (literally!); traveled to a number of cities; reconnected with friends and family and foe; enjoyed generous Persian hospitality, renewed relationships, fostered friendships, forged bonds, severed ties; basked in the innate poetic beauty of Iran and its culture, and cringed at the things that one must bear; saw and experienced things that made me glad, wistful, ecstatic, dreamy, nervous, enthralled, angry, happy, ashamed, proud, mad, deeply nostalgic, oft enchanted and sometimes profoundly sad; and of course enjoyed enviably good and yummy food that had me drooling and smacking my lips! Oh, the delicious things I ate and drank!

shirini kermanshahi noon koloocheh shirini Iran persian

Various Scrumptious Kermanshahi cookies and pastries | (shirini & koloocheh) Iran

I do hope to do this trip justice and recount and share it all with you in a meaningful and hopefully thoughtful way – including a few choice recipes – via a series of posts in the coming weeks and months, but I admit that I’m not yet entirely in the groove of being up to that task just yet.

So, to gently break the blogging fast, I thought it’d be both naughty (because it may torture you!) and nice to indulge in yet another lusty tour of the very many good things I had to eat and taste and savor when I was traveling in Iran. (In case you missed the earlier ones, here’s the first Lusty Food Tour of Iran and here’s another one.)

And here it goes, part 3 of “Eating my Way  in Iran” for your torturous pleasure:

Sholeh Zard traditional Persian sweet rice saffron rosewater recipe Persian food

Sholeh Zard – A persian dessert made with rice, saffron & rosewater | Made by Afooli!

These two yummy batches of Sholeh Zard (a traditional Iranian dessert made with rice, saffron and rosewater) were made by my friend Afooli for her Norooz party. Another time, my friend Haleh also specifically made it for me as well, so that I could photograph and document the recipe. I will post the recipe very soon. Promise!

Tangerine Jello with Fruit dessert Persian food trip to Iran

Tangerine Jello with Fruit

ژله انار Pomegranate jello (jeleh ye anar) Persian food dessert

Pomegranate jello (jeleh ye anar)

Jello desserts were quite popular in my childhood and I was surprised to see that they are still going strong in Iran. Usually served along with either ice cream or fruit.

koloocheh kooloocheh a yummy persian cookie pastry soft with sweet center Persian food

Koloocheh fresh off the oven! YUM!

koloocheh kooloocheh a yummy persian cookie pastry soft with sweet center Persian food

Ah, my sweet Koloocheh! Let me count the ways I love thee!

To avoid the too common travail of jumping up a few sizes after a trip to Iran, I tried to cautiously indulge and mostly succeeded in this endeavor, but tried as I might, I could NOT resist inhaling stacks of freshly made hot-out-of-the-oven koloocheh (a most wonderful and soft Persian pastry that is pillowy soft with a sweet center) whenever I got my greedy paws on some. And: je ne regrette rien! In fact, I only regret that I did not eat more of them! Mental note: Make some using Maria’s awesome kooloocheh recipe ASAP.

(noon 'eh khameh e va shirini persian sweets

shirini noon khameh pastry Persian sweet Food

shirini noon khameh pastry Persian sweet Food

Assorted Persian Puff and Cream Pastries (Shirini ye tar)

(noon 'eh khameh e va shirini persian sweets

Assorted “Dry” and cream Persian Pastries (shirini khoshk)

Oh sweet merciful cream and puff pastries! Needless to say: I miss these guys too! A lot!

And I still get goosebumps at the memory of my first taste of faloodeh va bastani – a dessert composed of starchy noodle threads combined with traditional Persian (usually called Akbar Mashdi) ice cream (that has chunks of solid crunchy cream! say what!) and served with a topping of freshly squeezed lemon juice – that my friends Afooli joon and Hossein served at their Norooz party.

The combo of textures (soft, mildly chewy and starchy, crunchy) and flavors (sweet, pleasently bland, tangy) was an intoxicating close-your-eyes and savor your life pleasure! Perfection!

Traditional Persian ice cream and starchy noodles (faloodeh ye bastani)

Traditional Persian ice cream and starchy noodles (faloodeh ye bastani)

Traditional Persian ice cream and starchy noodles (faloodeh ye bastani)

Persian New Year Persian dessert Faloodeh Bastani (ice cream & starchy noodles) & Norooz Colored Eggs

Faloodeh Bastani (ice cream & starchy noodles) & Norooz Colored Eggs

In conclusion: boy, did I miss y’all and I’m happy to be back, and please bear with me while I catch up and get back into the groove. Before signing off, I have to give a huge howdy and thank you to all of you who kept in touch and kept reading and commenting and to all of you wonderful friends who wrote the guest posts that helped me keep this blog humming along even while I was frolicking and traipsing around in my homeland.  Thank you!

Daffodil flower illustration icon graphic by Fig & Quince (Iranian food culture blog)

Till soon & Happy Weekend


38 thoughts on “A Partial Lusty Tour of the Food I Ate in Iran! | Part 3

    • Hi there! Good to hear from you. It really is kind of hard … and I’ve neglected my favorite blog readings as well but I hope to catch up! 🙂

    • That ice cream and noodle is what I consider among the top 10 if not top 5 of the best things I had to taste in Iran. Wish I could have shared it! Can’t wait to catch up with you in person (soon)! 🙂

  1. Welcome back here , Azita, seems like you had a bash of everything back home. It must be like a culture shock for you, coming back here, at least that happens to me each time I go back to Germany, and I go quite often.

    • Thank you dear Cornelia! It’s good to be back but I’m entirely homesick already. I hear you re the culture shock!

    • Hey Liz! 🙂 I feel like the photos don’t even do them justice. Hope one day you’ll get to travel there and see/taste for yourself

    • Hi Maria! For me you and kooloocheh are basically somewhat synonuomous now! ha ha, it’s a nice association 😉

  2. Welcome back, Azita!!! Great forthright opener that only Azita can write. I read all your trip posts as soon as I returned (6 weeks ago). I can understand how you needed time to assimilate back into the norm of your routine after such a ‘sentimental journey’ (sound like the song 😉 ). You were missed and again, welcome back! 🙂

    • Dear Fae! Thank you! I really missed you while away and can’t wait to go and catch up on reading about your own epic voyage. (Mine really was a sentimental journey, what a nice way to put it.) Look forward to properly catching up soon! xo

  3. Yum, yum! The photos are wonderful! Thank you for sharing them!. I lived in Shiraz almost 40 years ago. My favorite desert was frozen faloodeh (I think I remember adding “ye” at the end – would that be correct?) with rose water and lemon juice which I ate in the bazaar!!

    • Hi Kim! Lovely hearing from you and we have the love of faloodeh in common. In Shiraz, it is called “faloodeh ‘ye Shirazi, and is served with lemon and rosewater just as you recall. I had some in the bazaar as well and it was too sweet for me so I just added more lemon juice and voila presto, it was heaven! Now I really want some … ha ha

      Thank you for reading and commenting and if you ever feel like sharing some of your memories, stories or pix from your time in Iran/Shiraz, I’d LOVE to have and post them.

    • Hi there Patty! Now that’s the kind of reaction I’m looking for, ha ha! 🙂 ps great hearing from you

  4. Welcome back Azita joon,
    It is torturous to go through all these beautiful and delicious looking morsels you have for us as ارمغان. As I’m drooling all over them, I’ll be holding my breath & waiting to read more & more all about what you have to share with us ( تلخ و شيرين) hopefully mostly sheereen(sweet). Have a restful evening.

    • Ooh, the word “armaghan” put me firmly back in Isfahan. Was walking with my aunt and joking about this and that and this word came up.

      Thank you for a truly touching comment dearest Bizou (& can’t wait till you take your own trip!) xoxo

    • Thank you! 🙂 Was thinking of you the other day when debating if I should finally take the plunge and start watching Doctor Who!

      • uh … surprisingly my practical side won, deferring pleasure. But binge watch I must and binge watch I shall, it’s just a question of time. 😉

  5. How lovely to have you back Azita! Sounds like an amazing trip… can’t wait to hear more about it! These photos are definitely drool-worthy – very envious that you got to sample all of this deliciousness!

    • Dear Margot, it’s lovely to hear from you! Thank you again for your gorgeous guest post.

      It was an amazing trip and I do hope to share as much of it as possible and who knows maybe one day a few of us can go and make a foodie tour of Iran together? I’ll be a good guide 😉

  6. I feel the same way, overwhelmed with things to write about so that I am confused at the end. lol as you said it, I blame perfection and a lack of focus too.
    Anyhow, I am excited to read about your trip to Iran since it’ s quite a mysterious country to me. So much history but so little ever reaches to us that I have no clue what the culture might be like.
    I fell in love with the koloocheh and I am going to check out the recipe now!
    Thank you for sharing and I can’ t wait to read more. 😉

    • Dear Helene,

      What a treat to hear from you and I’m thrilled you’re interested in knowing more about Iran as I do hope to shed some light on it and present it in as fair and true manner as possible.

      I wish, wish, wish that I could have gifted everyone with a taste of hot kooloocheh, but that not being possible, Maria’s recipe is an excellent substitute. Do let us (me + Maria) know how it turns out.

      Nooshe jan! 🙂

  7. Wow. Just wow… so many amazing culinary delights!! SO GOOD to have you back Azita! Glad that you arrived home safely and I hope that you rest up and feel back in the groove soon. Every time I think I know a little bit about Iranian/Persian food, I see a post like this and I realise that i really know nothing at all! Ice cream and noodles. Never thought I would see a combination like that, ever! Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos and memories with us. I will eagerly await the rice dessert recipe and all of your other holiday posts. So pleased that you got to spend some proper time rediscovering your homeland xx

    • Dearest Laura! I am so glad to be back. I thought I knew something about Iranian cooking as well but I also was quite surprised by a number of (uniformly delightful) culinary discoveries. Hope to share them all.

      Thank you for such a sweet and warm welcome!

    • Laila! Thank you for keeping up and keeping in touch, it made me happy and helped me feel connected while I was away traipsing around 🙂

  8. Welcome back, my dear friend!

    I loved your posts about your cool trip! Every post was cool , fun & very interesting too! 🙂

    Great special foods in this post! xxx

    Relax now & take it easy! 🙂 Hugs! xxx

  9. I’ve been away from the computer for a while, and am just now slowly catching up… What a lovely post! I totally get the mixed feelings, and the need to let things settle down a bit before being able to find what needs/wants to be expressed as well as the words to do so. Welcome back, Azita! I’m looking forward to catching up on your recent posts, and to find out more about what you chose to share, and where you’re at right now too. Cheers!

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