I grew up perplexed amongst the aromas of cardamom black tea and vanilla malt milkshakes, saffron rice pudding and campfire toasted marshmallows, turmeric fried onions, boxed mac and cheese, and dried black limes boiling in lamb and split pea stew. Born Persian, married Italian, I speak with a hint of midwestern and hold only cloudy memories of spinach deep dish.
I first moved out and away from home in Tehran for graduate school, to a small and secluded ivy-league town in New Hampshire. There, I had my first apartment, my first kitchen, small but enough to host my culinary adventures. I shopped local and cooked Persian, recreating the familiar tastes of home; Vermont organic lamb minced and fired into sumac sprinkled kabobs and New Hampshire dairy churned into rosewater ice cream.
I currently reside in Seattle with my former guinea pig, now husband, Alessandro, and identify as an Iranian-New Englander in essence (I’m guessing there aren’t too many of those). It’s all complicated. My kitchen gently sifts together all those places and more, bringing together ingredients, flavors, and languages of my past, present, and future, simply into one big, delicious pot.
نوش جان and buon appetito!