Indigenous food in Malayer made national heritage
The skills of making two kinds of local Ash, which are popular in the city of Malayer, west-central Hamedan province, have been added to the National Intangible Cultural Heritage list, Malayer’s tourism chief has announced.
Eggplant Ash and Sour (Torsh) Ash have been recently inscribed on the prestigious list, Ebrahim Jalili said on Monday. The traditional dishes of Malayer especially its Ash have a long history, the official added. The national registration of these foods prevents their obsolescence and oblivion, he noted. Ash is a thick Persian soup that varies in its ingredients depending on where it is made. Ash Reshteh is by far the most popular one and is perhaps known all over the world as a typical sample of Iranian cuisine. Ash Reshteh is a soup made with spinach, herbs, legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans, or kidney beans), thick spaghetti-like noodles, onions, dried mint, and kashk (curdled milk). It originated in Persian culinary culture and has always been a popular dish at cultural events and family gatherings. Preparing this dish in Iran is often associated with special occasions such as the Persian New Year, professional success, or even mourning for a loved one. This dish is often eaten during the winter or after a long day of fasting, due to the variety of nutritional components it contains. This is especially true during the winter season. There is no doubt that it is a complete dish and very rich in nutrients and vitamins, such as minerals and proteins. Iranian cuisine, usually dominated by fragrant herbs, varies from region to region. It principally accentuates freshness, deliciousness, and colorfulness. Experts say that food is not merely an organic product with biochemical compositions. However, for members of each community, food is defined as a cultural element. No Persian meal is complete without an abundance of herbs. Every table is usually set with sabzi-khordan, a basket of fresh herbs, radishes, and scallions, which are eaten raw and by the handful. Persian cuisine is, above all, about balance — of tastes and flavors, textures and temperatures.