Persian Food: The History

Last week I talked about how much I love Persian Food, but it was not always the same as it is today.  The Persian Food we all know and love has gone through some major changes through the ages.

Back in the ancient times of Persia, their cuisine was mostly just wheat, millet, and barley.  This was how people at for a long time, but once the Islamic Empires conquered Persia, their food went through some major change. They started to eat less wheat and eat much more barley.  They also started to include different spices like saffron, garlic, onions, and chickpeas.  They also eat many types of fruits and vegetables.  Many people ate a few things before the Caliphate took over.  In fact, one of the main reasons quinoa, apples, pears, muskmelons, watermelons, pomegranates, grapes, peaches, and mulberries made its way to Europe and the west is because of Persian Traders during this time.

After the Caliphates left, they took their government, but left a permanent mark on Iran.  They left their religion and many things, but they also left their food and cuisine culture.  It is a common theme that in Persia, that the conquerors often changed the food culture for a short time, and then it would slowly fade away, leaving only a few remnants.  This was the same for the Mongols and most other forces.

Religion also had a pretty major impact on their food, particularity Zoroastrianism.  Other than the major religious influences this has had, it changes the cuisine in Iran forever.  Just like other religions, they had forbidden foods.

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