Every year I am more than excited to attend the Annual Festival of Tribes and Hand Crafts, in Iran, not only do I find better deals here than in the stores and markets, but I get to see nearly all of Iran and its cultural diversity in one spot. It is truly a melting pot of cultural diversity. And, not only are the exhibition arenas filled with amazing crafts, but there is a variety of traditional foods, music, and other entertainment. To kick off this series about the festival and why it is a must attend, I will introduce you to the amazing foods this traveling road fair has to offer!
Check out some of the traditional techniques for making outdoor food!
The Food: The food is first of all made right in front of you, it is mostly fried food, bread, slow-cooked stews, and soups, or food prepared by very vigorous outdoor work: made with ancient apparatuses ( like in the photo below, sheepskin holding milk is swung back and forth to produce butter or a popular traditional drink known as doogh.) Think of it as an outdoor “Texas cook-off,”– if you have ever been — where everyone is eager to please the guest and show off their regional flavors, skills, and talents. Sometimes you find an occasional food booth handing out free soups and other free dishes. Often a taste of Persian culture is no more than a buck or two! Truly worth every bit of pleasure.
Loaves of bread are a big deal at this event, and you might want to stock up on them if you do attend. Save for later or freeze for home, too. The yearly fair has some of the best loaves of bread and varieties you will probably find in Iran: sweetbreads, big loaves of bread, little loaves of bread, fried bread, bread stuffed with meat or veggies bread, you name it, they have it.
Then, of course, there are alternatives to all that bread: a variety of soups and other homemade foods are available. Not everyone can live on bread alone or can eat it. The soups are often made with pure veggies; and, you might find a few with little meat, but not too often. Soups would mostly satisfy a vegetarian if you are on a strict diet.
Now, after you eat you and walk all over the place, you might feel a little thirsty! No worries! The guys at the “Arabian nights” booth offer free hospitality to anyone who needs to relax for chai or coffee, especially the men whose legs are sore after their wives and kids run them all over the large festival with hundreds of booths. Several tents are on display that represents the different tribes and cultures in Iran. Check it out below!
Other things the exhibition has to offer in the food category are a variety of take-home foods from all over Iran: mostly, traditional sweets and a few things that excite the youngsters.
Fresh mountain honey, different flavors great prices.
A variety of sweets to purchase for home.
People working in their booths to sell traditional foods.
You should know every year during autumn-early fall, between the months of October-December this roadshow travels through every province and major city of Iran. So if you live in Iran or you are up for something rare and different, search the international exhibition calendar of Iran. Below are different links I gathered online. I hope they are of help to you! See you next week when I blog about the entertainment at the fair!