Who doesn’t love spreading a healthy dose of homemade jam on toasted and buttered crusty bread? For some, there may be something strange about jam that’s made without fruit, but I would encourage anyone to try this brightly orange-colored and flavorful carrot jam.
Making jam is an age-old tradition in Iran (and the rest of the world); it dates back to the 12th century in ancient Persia. This was an essential means of preserving food far beyond the growing and harvest seasons. This tradition was also adopted and spread through many cultures who then put their own unique mark in the middle east and Mediterranean regions.
Naan barbari is one of the most popular flatbreads in Persian cuisine, most frequently consumed at the breakfast table to scoop up some creamy butter and homemade sour cherry jam or aromatic quince rose water jam!
Though we would certainly have this bread in Tehran, I mostly associate it with trips up north to the city of Babol by the Caspian Sea. I remember visits to my Da-yee (uncle) and zan da-ee (aunt) where for breakfast you would be greeted with some locally produced salted butter, feta cheese, a variety of homemade jams, and the intoxicating aroma of the freshly baked barbari bread from the bakery just around the corner. While the trusted samovar would be gurgling quietly in the background offering hot and strong freshly brewed black tea all day long.
Let there be jam! Homemade jams are such an integral part of Persian culture and cuisine. Quince is one of those rare and sometimes underappreciated tart and crisp fruits that are best enjoyed either cooked in a stew or made into a jam.