Cheat Sheet On Iranian Food: Eat Out Like A Local
I have seen lots of tourists who came to Iran (several times even) and tried only kebabs in Iranian restaurants. And that`s very sad, because Iranians have amazingly delicious cuisine that is worth trying and kebabs are only part of it.
There are several reasons why tourists order mostly only kebabs in restaurants. First of all, Iran is famous for its delicious kebabs. Made of different types of meat, they are prepared in various shapes and sizes, and in many parts of Iran you can find local types of kebabs which can`t be found anywhere else! And of course, kebab deserves to be the first must-try on foreign tourists` lists.
Another problem is that when tour guides or locals try to explain, let`s say, what khoresht is to a foreigner, it might not sound exciting or mouthwatering, and tourists prefer to order something simple and familiar… like kebab!
Of course, it`s not entirely their fault. If you take a look at the menu in an Iranian restaurant, you`ll see that 80 % of it are different types of kebabs, because they are easy to prepare and very popular among Iranians themselves. Who will go to the restaurant for home food? Moreover, some Iranian dishes can be found only in particular types of restaurants and at particular time of the day or even year! For example, ash, halim or sholeh-zard are available everywhere during Ramadan in the evening. On the other hand, kalleh-pacheh can be found only before dawn during Ramadan. But it will be quite a challenge to find any of the above-mentioned foods at any other time of the year as they are not served in usual restaurants and can be found only in places that specialize in these types of food.
After going out to eat with so many foreign tourists and trying to translate the menu to them and make them try something that is not kebab, I decided to make a cheat sheet that will help foreign visitors a) to easily order at a restaurant, if they are not accompanied by a local, and b) to see that variety of Iranian cuisine that a local can see and maybe try something new.
I browsed lots of menus from different restaurants and picked up those foods that are more commonly seen on the menu in any part of Iran, and here it comes – the only guide on Iranian cuisine that you will need going to a restaurant – my cheat sheet on Iranian food. You can read and DOWNLOAD IT FROM HERE! Feel free to print it out and take with you on your trip to Iran. With this cheat sheet you`ll never feel confused at a restaurant!
(This cheat sheet is also available in Russian and Farsi. Contact me if you need one!)
Eat out like a local and enjoy Iranian food!
PS Don`t forget to write your feedback, questions and ideas in the comments!