Persian New Year celebration

My wife and I had the honor of being invited to a Persian New Year celebration. It was an amazing experience. I really enjoyed the opportunity to be up close and personal with a crowd of Iranians and their customs and food. I had two big revelations about Persian customs and food.

The first is about customs: everybody, and I do mean everybody, from children to old people needing a walker, introduces themselves and/or greets everybody else upon entering the house. I thought that was so cool: it immediately familiarizes everybody with each other and makes for a more comfortable gathering.

The second revelation was about the food: amazing combinations of flavors, tastes, and textures. I had had various versions of “Persian” food before at places around town so many of the dishes are familiar. However, there were two that were new to me and they also happen to be my favorites: mirza ghassemi, Persian eggplant, tomato, and egg; and zereshk polow, Persian saffron rice with cranberries/barberries, candied tangerine peels, onions, with chicken. The zereshk polow was by far my favorite, with its contrast of flavors (saffron, turmeric) and taste (cranberries/barberries) and texture (the tangerine peels are quite chewy and are a great contrast). Here’s a quick vid of the banquet.