By Roy Lie Atjam
Iran is one of the world’s most ancient civilizations dating back thousands of years. The name Iran comes from an Arian immigrant tribe, meaning the land of Arians.
The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iranian in the Netherlands hosted an Iranian Food Festival highlighting the country’s traditional dishes and music.
Iranian cuisine is tantalizingly delicious. The most famous ingredient in Iranian cooking is the inclusion of saffron and the love that the Iranians pour into their cooking. Saffron, this is the most expensive spice in the world it is the stamen of the crocus and has to be handpicked. It has a unique aroma and flavour, no true Iranian household is without it.
The launching of the Iranian Flavours was done by Ambassador Alireza Kazemi Abadi, flanked by Mr Patrick Aarsman General Manager of Leonardo Royal Hotel The Hague and Dr Mayelinne De Lara for Diplomat Magazine.
The program further contained a video presentation, recorded music and live music by Iranian artist Mr Farid Sheek who masterly performed on the Daf instrument and Santoor music playing in the background.
An interesting feature on the program was the exhibition of a decorated Islamic new year table. The name is Haft sin.
The Haft sin table is an arrangement symbolizing the Iranian New Year (Nowruz), is beautifully designed and comprises seven objects starting with the letter sin or “S” of the Persian alphabet. Each item has its particular meaning. Haft sin has become trendy among Iranian of all ages these days.
Leonardo Royal Hotel The Hague on 11 March 2022, has served as the backdrop for Iranian cuisine, as chef Mohammad Alibadi showcased his culinary creations. The size of the dishes gave guests the chance to taste multiple facets of the elaborate Iranian cuisine.
Chef Mohammad Aliabadi is from Bujnūrd Iran, home of the world’s finest and the most famous Saffron and Barberry. Aliabadi graduated in 2014 and joined the Four-star Negin Hotel. Currently, he is the chef of the Iranian Mission in The Hague. He has been in this position for the past two years.
Ambassador Alireza Kazemi Abadi, in his inaugural address, stated: “Iranian gastronomy and culinary arts are part of Iran’s rich culture which is associated with the colour of love, the warmness of the family and the vitality of nature.”
This is what Chef Mohammad Aliabadi along with Leonardo’s Chef Sido de Brabander Iranian Flavours menu looked like: Appetizers, Ash-e-jo=thick barley soup; mirza ghasemi=grilled aubergine dip. The main course, khoresh fesenjan=walnut stew, kabab koobideh=grilled minced lamb,joojeh kabab=grilled chicke, rice with saffron; Side dishes, salad shirazi,zeytoon parvardeh,mast-o-khiar. Dessert, ferni & fruits.
By employing gastronomy, Iran has (re)introduced herself to the younger generation of Dutch people, internationals, maintained and enhanced the economic and people-to-people relationship. It has been the most indelible culinary evening full of Iranian splendour!