Persian food has become increasingly popular over the years due to its amazing flavor and health benefits. Known for its fragrant, fresh herbs, rich spices, and savory flavors, it’s no wonder this cuisine is winning over many people’s hearts and taste buds!
But why is Persian food popular, actually? In this article, we’ll learn more about the reasons behind its popularity and what cultures influenced Persian food. Read on!
How Has Persian Food Been Influenced By Other Cultures?
Known for its wide use of rice and noodles, the cuisine of Persia turned out to be influenced by other cultures.
These staples originated from China and India and were brought to Iran through the historic Silk Road trade route. The ancient Persian Empires also had a strong dominion over northern India, further contributing to the long-standing presence of both noodles and rice dishes in Persian food.
On the other hand, the West also influenced Persian/Iranian food in terms of the spread use of vegetables and fruits, such as tomatoes and potatoes. This clearly shows in the Farsi translation of tomato, European Plus, or Gojeh Farangi.
Initially, the term “farangi” was used in a derogatory way to describe the new western-style food being brought into the culture. However, it’s still used by Persians until nowadays to name several fruits and veggies.
Most Common Used Ingredients in Persian Cuisine
Persian/Iranian cuisine is known for its rich ingredients with unique blends of flavors.
Among the various ingredients, the ten most common ones play a significant role in shaping Persian/Iranian dishes, including rice, lamb, meat, onions, dill, parsley, lentils, yogurt, turmeric, and mint.
Rice is considered one of the most vital foods in Persian culture since it was brought to Persia from the Indian subcontinent over 4000 years ago.
Nowadays, there are many variations of rice in Persia, such as Basmati rice and Saffron-infused rice.
Many Variations of Bread in the Cuisine of Persian
Besides rice, bread is also a staple in Persian cuisine, with several variations.
Urban areas boast four major types of bread. Nan-e-Barbari is a thick yet spongy breakfast, sandwich, and kabob staple. Nan-e-Lavash is a paper-thin flatbread perfect for herbs & cheese or under kabobs. Nan-e-Taftoon is a thicker pizza dough-like bread, usually cooked in tanoor with a metal skewer. Lastly, Nan-e-Sangak is an oven-cooked bread with hot pebbles that goes great with ahb-gusht or koobideh kabob.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is common Persian food?
Common Persian food is the typical food eaten in Persia. Some of the most popular Persian food is Ghormeh Sabzi, Kuku Sabzi, Chelo Kebab, Khoresht e Bademjan, and Zereshk Polo.
Do Persians eat a lot of meat?
Yes. However, they typically don’t eat a lot of red meat. Instead, lamb and chicken are the typical meat used in delicious Persian dish menus.
What is the difference between Mediterranean and Persian food?
The main difference between Mediterranean and Persian food is the primary ingredients. While Mediterranean food often uses wheat, seafood, olive, and olive oil, Persian cooking has rice, bread, and legumes as the staple.
So, why is Persian food popular? After looking into the world of Persian dishes, it’s no wonder its popularity continues to grow with every passing year since it has its uniqueness and characteristics despite being influenced by various cultures.
The combination of aesthetics and history that Persian foods have in abundance undoubtedly plays a role in their worldwide popularity. On top of that, many dishes exude comfort through complex yet gentle preparations. In other words, Persian food is a delicious mix of culture and tradition — an invitation to feast on flavor.