The common and possibly only complaint about Iranian cuisine is that the majority of recipes remain changed some for 5,000 years. For many hardcore Iranian gastronomics though, an update of the venerable Persian menu to nouveau fusion-cooking would be simply unthinkable. We have tried for example, chicken with banana and cashew nut which, although not conventional food, was a bold gesture for the clearly branded Iranian restaurant offering the dish amongst fessenjoon and all the other main Iranian fare. It proved an interesting mix of flavours and textures and has remained a notable memory. However, a memory it will stay however, we won’t be updating it any time soon! But what of others who are daring to test the waters? Well, there are ways and there are ways of updating, some culinary impresarios use the packaging and more subtle ways of introducing Iranian flavours and ingredients to the world.
Leading these, since 1994 in Australia are Pariya a cutting edge confection line that has been bringing 5,000 year old delicacies up to date by blending flavours and modern foodstuffs, with some very slick wrapping and no-nonsense fonts. Items include Persian confetti, Gaz, Persian nougat (with flavours such as saffron and sour cherry); Sohan Persian toffee, Pashmak – Persian fairy floss (pictured), dried Meeveh Persian fruits (such sun-dried persimmons), Ajil Persian nuts (lime roasted hazelnuts), Raahat (one superb example is hazelnut-coconut rahaat) and hand-made Shokolat (vanilla and pistachio strawberry chocolate). Who could resist?
Pariya means angel or fairy in Persian and such is the role of the very personal business built up by Azadeh Ashrafinia, taking it upon themselves as they are, to bring the most delicate flavours as an offering to the wider world.