I am a different kind of nerd. I don't care for video games or tech or the stock market. I am a bit of a science and skepticism nerd but weirdly, a grocery store for people with a different cuisine or culture is totally absorbing to me (food nerd?). I will often purchase food because I just don't know what it is, just to taste it and figure out what to do with it.
The North Shore has a large Persian population (not sure of exact numbers) and there are several Persian grocery stores along Lonsdale and elsewhere locally. This place, Persia Foods is on Marine Drive and caught our eye. I could not help myself and we ended up coming home with a bag of groceries that just happened to be vegan and mostly from Iran.
This bread is not from Iran but the recipe probably is. It was warm when we bought it but surprisingly made it home with us and didn't get devoured in the car. We toasted some in the oven and spread it with various things including the fig jam that you will see in a moment. This is not the first time we have purchased Persian bread and we love it!
From the pickle and jam aisle (I'm not sure if they called it that), we bought some fig jam as well as pickled garlic and pickled bandari. The latter is a spicy mixture of eggplant, tomato paste, cauliflower etc. which we love! The garlic is very good also but curiously is jarred in semi-peeled heads.
There were a lot of these little tinned concoctions and I could have come home with many more varieties (next time). There was a wonderful stewed eggplant mix which we polished off fairly quickly and a spinach and plum mixture which was a little sweet and very tasty as well. In the middle is dessert.
The dessert is a saffron cake or pudding which tasted a bit medicinal to us. We're not sure if that is the way it is supposed to be or if it is the consequence of being in a can. At any rate, we will avoid it in the future.
Other cool things we bought were halva, dates, a quince, a couple of fried noodle soups and a dried herb mixture for making Ghormeh Sabzi, an Iranian herb stew. We have made it before using the dried herbs and beans etc., and it is easily veganized and rich and delicious. We're not really sure where everything is from other than the halvah is from Greece while the soups, herbs, and tins and jars are all from Iran.
I love exploring new cuisines and while Persian food and culture is familiar to Vancouver, there is always more to discover and we love that there were so many products made without animal inputs.
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