|Iran is the largest producer of pistachios in the world. Iranian pistachios are very delicious and are available in many varieties and flavors. No other producer can compete with Iranian pistachios.
|Saffron and Iran are uniquely linked together. Iran harvests about 80% of the world’s production of saffron. Despite its small size, this spice is quite expensive, and is suitable for many applications.|
|Grapes and Raisins are nature’s pharmacy. The sugars from raisins are quite beneficial for our bodies. Iran is second in the exporting of raisins, and rise in the demand for Iranian raisins proves their quality.|
|According to laboratory analysis, there are about 20% more calories in an Iranian dried fig than in that of figs from the U.S.A. or Turkey. The FAO recognizes the Iranian city, Fars, as being the best region in the world for the cultivation of figs.|
|Dates are one of man’s best friends and the date palm is probably one of the oldest trees to be cultivated in the world. Arab tradition holds that the benefits of the date palm are as numerous as the days in a year.|
almond and Other Nuts
|There are three main varieties of almond, Mamra, sweet and bitter. Mamra almond is a unique product specified by its crunchy texture, attractive appearance and very sweet taste. Bitter almonds are actually the kernels which are commonly used in Chinese medicine while the sweet almonds are creamy white, smooth nuts with a brown skin and encased in a shell.|
|Verzaj or Verzak is the Persian name given to dried fruit of barberry. Berberis Vulgaris is the scientific name for this plant which commonly known as barberry.|
“According to FAO statistics, Iran is the number one producer of pistachios, saffron, and dates in recent years and Iranian dried fruits are exported to many countries.”
|Persian walnut,||kiwi fruit,|
|citrus fruits,||and more…|
Dried fruit is a fruit which the majority of the original water content has been, removed either naturally, through sun drying, or through the use of specialized dryers (heated wind tunnel dryers) or dehydrators. Dried fruits retain most of the nutritional value of fresh fruits. The specific nutrient content of the different dried fruits reflects their fresh counterpart and the processing method. Persian dried fruits are also important sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber and provide a wide array of bio-active components. Some are infused with a sweetener (i.e. sucrose syrup) prior to drying. Some are candied fruit. And some are simply sold as dried fruit.
Ajil is a general term Iranians use for any type of mixed nuts. Every Iranian home has an assortment of nuts available at any hour. Ajil may be sweet or salted. Salted Ajil comprises almonds, tokhmeh hindwaneh roasted melon seeds, tokhmeh kadoo roasted squash seeds, roasted chickpeas, hazelnuts, cashews and walnuts. Sweet Ajil will comprise nuts and raisins, dried figs, sweets and sugar cubes.
Ajil is associated with different occasions and celebrations and is a part of the spread of a Sofreh, Sofreh Aghd and Sofreh Nooruz. Sometimes people carry some Ajil from a Sofreh for good luck.
On a visit to a Persian home, Ajil is most definitely something that guests will be served.
Tokhmeh is a term used for roasted seeds. Iranians love to munch on a variety of tokhmeh such as tokhmeh aftabgardoon (sunflower seeds), pumpkin seeds, watermelons, mashmelons, squash and other fruits and vegetables.
Roasted with salt or lime, this popular Persian snack is eaten by breaking the shell and eating the inside piece of the seeds.