Iranian cuisine, also called Persian cuisine, is undeniably dynamic. Influences come from Greek, Turkish, Caucasian, Russian and Central Asian cultures, but Iranians have crafted a culinary scene that’s entirely their own.
Rice and bread, vital components of any meal, are elevated to unseen heights with advieh, the wide variety of pungent veggies and dried fruits used to flavor dishes. Saffron, cardamom and rose water are also used liberally, and kebabs and stews are the dominant protein sources.
Standout dish: Of the country’s many excellent stews, Fesenjan is perhaps the most beloved. The dish features meat (usually chicken), walnuts and pomegranate, with saffron, cinnamon and/or a pinch of sugar sometimes added in as well.
Stone tablets from as far back as 515 BC listed walnuts, poultry and pomegranate preserves as staples in early Iranian pantries, making this a true classic of the region.