Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

The Most Expensive Food In The World Costs Up To $10,000 A Pound

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The most expensive food on Earth blooms from an ocean of purple flowers for one week each year in rare places around the globe. The spice, saffron, is harvested by hand from the stigmas of a saffron crocus or purple flower.

Approximately 150 flowers are required to yield a gram of the orange-yellow spice that can cost between $2,000 to $10,000 per pound, according to Mashable. Harvesting saffron is a time- and energy-consuming process that has remained the same since ancient times. Flowers bloom in areas that have extreme climates consisting of hot and dry summers and cold winters.

Saffron is commonly used in Persian, Indian, European and Turkish cuisines. It is a popular ingredient in the traditional paella dishes in Spain and famous risottos in Northern Italy.

saffron_expense_2Kashmiri villagers gathering saffron flowers from a saffron field in Pampore, Kashmir, on Nov. 2, 2015

Saffron is harvested from the stigmas of a purple flower of Crocus sativus Linnaeus. The region is well regarded for its high-quality saffron.

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Saffron has been used in manufacturing for fragrance in perfumes and color dye for cloth. An Iranian villager harvests the flowers in a field near Torbat-E Heidarieh in northeastern Iran on Oct. 31, 2015. The country is a major producer of saffron and supplies 95% of the world’s demand.

saffron_expense_4A Kashmiri villager arranges saffron flowers for drying in the sunshine in a saffron field in Pampore

In cooking, saffron can be used as a spice, yellow food coloring and flavoring agent. Kashmir is the only place in India and one of the few places on the globe that the flower can be found.

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The Crocus sativus Linnaeus, also known as Rose of Saffron, belongs to the family of Iridaceae. A Kashmiri villager in a saffron field in Pampore.

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Kashmiri villagers cultivating saffron flowers in a field in Pampore. The purple flower has red stigmas and yellow stamens.

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It can take up to 75,000 saffron flowers to yield a single pound of the yellow spice. Iranian villagers clean up saffron flowers in their house near Torbat-E Heidarieh in northeastern Iran on Oct. 31, 2015.

saffron_expense_8Kashmiri villagers in a purple field of flowers in Pampore

The stigmas of the saffron flowers are also used in medicine to treat asthma, coughs, insomnia and cancer.

Written by Laura Dang, Nextshark

Categories
Features

Persian Food Explained: 5 Dishes You Should Know

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Iran has just broken bread with the US for the first time since the Revolution of 1979, so it’s about time to learn what the hell that broken Persian bread tastes like. But before you start worrying about etiquette or customs or language (which you can learn via a podcast from that nice woman holding the food), it’s way more delicious to just learn about what’s on the plate. So here are the 5 dishes that every Persian knows and loves, so you can learn them, and make Persians want to know and love you.

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Fesenjoon

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Translation: None
Ingredients: Stewed pomegranate puree, ground walnuts, chopped onions, chunks of poultry or balls of ground meat.
What’s the deal: Pomegranates were a big deal in Iran long before Westerners realized they were Wonderful. The tart flavor from “the fruit of heaven” combined with savory spices creates one of the most uniquely Persian dishes in the culinary canon — a seasonal Fall and Winter dish that, when mentioned to an Iranian, will immediately make them think you know much more about their culture than you actually do.

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Ghormeh Sabzi

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Translation: “Stewed greens”
Ingredients: Parsley, spinach, leeks, coriander, kidney beans, dried lemons, dried fenugreek leaves, turmeric-seasoned lamb or beef.
What’s the deal: Iran’s most widely eaten stew, this lumpy green dish is always going to be on the table of any Persian dinner party, while everyone debates whether Iranian National Team striker Reza Ghoochannejhad is overrated.

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 Kabob

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Translation: Pretty much universal for “meat”
Ingredients: Long strips of minced lamb, chicken, or beef grilled over a fire and served alongside charred tomatoes, rice sprinkled with sumac, a parsley salad, and flatbread.
What’s the deal: We shish you not, this is probably the most beloved dish in Iran and ranges from super-cheap street food to stuff that only the Shahs of Sunset could afford. There are a ton of different varieties where the meat is spiced differently (turmeric for kabab koobideh, saffron for kabab barg) and it’s usually accompanied by doogh (see below!) or a soda ordered by color rather than brand name, with black meaning Coke, white for Sprite, and orange for Fanta.

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 Doogh

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Translation: Roughly derives from the verb “to milk”
Ingredients: Yogurt, mint, sometimes diced cucumbers.
What’s the deal: Iranians mix yogurt into pretty much everything savory — including spaghetti and soups — and, to get even more yogurt into a meal, they guzzle glasses of doogh. The sour yogurt drink can sometimes be tough on foreign palates, which might associate the same flavors with curdled milk.

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 Tadeeg

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Translation: “Bottom of the pot”
Ingredients: Burnt rice flavored with saffron.
What’s the deal: Iranians love burnt things. Rice is served alongside most meals, but the most coveted rice is tadeeg: the bottom crispy layer that’s slightly burnt and has soaked up much of the caramelized saffron. Iran produces 90% of the world’s saffron, which is often said to be as expensive as a “pretty girl’s kiss” — and which you can now pay for with your knowledge of Persian food.

 

Dan Gentile is a staff writer on Thrillist’s national food/drink team who recently purchased a very nice toaster oven and is excited about exploring the world of crispy reheated food. He also enjoys hating mustard. Follow him to pots of gold/Twitter at @Dannosphere.

Categories
Adventures

Adventure: Hatam's Restaurant (Anaheim, CA)

Yesterday was National Foodbeast Day, doubling as the day of our website’s birth, May 6th. While the entire day was filled with good eats, our lunch hour was shared with the homies from Loud & Obnoxious and IM-King clothing, all under one roof for some amazing Persian cuisine in Anaheim. Vince and Robert of L&O have had high praise for this restaurant ever since I met them, and I must concur, their taste is now 110% certified.

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Cravings

Craving: Persian Food

There’s nothing quite like it, the fluffy basmati rice, the grilled vegetables, the awesome appetizers, and of course, the melt-in-your mouth assortment of meats. If you’ve yet to try out beautiful Persian cuisine, get out there and do yourself a favor. Come May 6th, we will definitely be getting our ethnic on with the crew! (PicThx Razzle’sTravels)