Adventures of a Persian Food Blogger in Shiraz, Iran
Last week I spent a few days in Shiraz on a business trip. Remember? I saw and ate and enjoyed many many good things, and I’m going to do my best to document it all in a fashion that will be concise yet somewhat of interest to you, my lovely joon readers. Advance warning however, that I will do so in bits and pieces and fits and starts and in several posts. Thus, begging your generous understanding from the very beginning of our journey.
For today’s post, let’s go with a pictorial essay of some of the pretty things I saw.
One afternoon, I headed out willy nilly in the neighborhood to explore and see what’s what. One of the first sights to greet me was this blooming pomegranate tree, with its beautiful blossoms cascading down the wall. Talk about instant rapture. What a sight
Another sight was this wall with a message graffiti. The message is a lament and a curse and a warning all at once! It says: “I curse the mother and father of whoever leaves garbage here.” I’ve seen variations of this sentiment scribbled on walls here and there in various cities and it always makes me chuckle. Although littering is no laughing matter. For sure and tssk tssk. Seriously.
A more welcoming less threatening message-graffiti was this one, reciting a line of (I assume famous) poetry. I confess I can’t make out all of it, but what I can comprehend, seems uplifting.
And here’s a mural that on first impression looks aggressive, but it merely depicts a couple of Shahnameh warriors having a good old fashioned jostle and wrestle. I do hope they won’t butt heads as that would surely prove quite painful if not fatal.
And here’s a most reassuring sign declaring that: “Kalam Polo is Available.” Kalam polo or cabbage rice (sounds horrible, I know, but it is quite good) is one of the specialties of Shiraz and this region of Iran.
Ostan’e Fars (or Fars State) is also known for its prolific use of seafood. Here’s a store selling just fish and shrimp. Aside from Kalam Polo, Shiraz is justly famous for the wonderful meigoo polo, aka shrimp and rice saffron rice. You wanna see pix and get the recipe? Why, they’re in an earlier post so just click here!
Another thing that caught my attention during my brief survey of the neighborhood was herbs and veggies piled in beautifully organized stacks at the green grocers market. A sight that made my inner Martha Stewart tremble with delight.
Doesn’t it look pretty close up? Like a work of art.
But I didn’t just prowl the streets haphazardly. Farzaneh & Hamid Reza, my awesome hosts, were super kind and took me here and there and everywhere and showed me around. One place we visited was “Bagh ‘e Eram” a magical garden with a historic building. Such a gorgeous place. A stunning gem in the heart of Shiraz (just in front of Shiraz University.) This photo is just one peek at just one of the pomegranate trees. Do you see the azgil (loquat)? A random guy offered us some azgil (they were delicious) and Farzaneh dangled her share amidst the pomegranate blossoms as I took the pic! 🙂
Speaking of my hosts: here they are! This was at Hafezieh – another spectacularly pretty sight in Shiraz, where the poet Hafez is laid to rest in a setting that is enchanting and crowded by day and night. Always filled with locals and tourists and those seeking commune with this revered Persian bard.
It was at the gift shop at Hafizieh where I encountered these specimens of talisman meant to ward off the evil eye. I almost bought one for my brand new laptop! (Chonkeh mitarsam chesmesh bezanand, ha ha.)
And here’s my lovely host Farzaneh at another Hafezieh gift shop, helping me find just the right souvenir postcards. Farzaneh is born and bred Shirazi, she’s finished with her studies and she’s a marketing entrepreneur, and she can’t and won’t imagine life elsewhere. I don’t blame her, Shiraz has it all
And finally, here’s your faithful blogger, beaming happily at the entrance to Hafezieh. Holding in my right hand my souvenir postcards.
Parting words, gentle readers: a reminder (lest you forget and at the risk of making myself a pest) that I post daily (and oft) on Instagram, because it’s a fun and efficient way to share with you a good chunk of what I’m up to without worrying about time and VPN and such things, and even if you don’t have an Instagram account, you can check it all out here and follow along with my most excellent adventure.
Till soon! Boos boos and bye bye!
Also: Visit Iran and most definitely visit Shiraz! 🙂