Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bounty ~ Random Memory #19 ~ Iran

Beth's Vegetable Stand, Warren, Maine.

One of the great pleasures of summer is the bounty found in the many roadside vegetable stands in Maine. It's true, there is an abundance of year round produce in the grocery stores, but February offerings can not touch the intense taste we enjoy from our local farmers.

Random Memory #19 ~ Iran

The seasons and artificially created shortages dictated our menu in Tehran, although bread (nan) and rice were always available. I loved the markets with vegetables on display in high precarious towers and the profusion of colorful beans and dried herbs. I didn't have the slightest idea what to do with most of them, but gradually many crept into our diet with delicious results. I miss the nan and the harbouzay melons the most. There is nothing like harbouzay in this country...that solid yellow melon with its crackling crisp texture and a flavor that bursts in your mouth like a spoonful of honey. Eggs were often scarce and we could go for weeks without them. They were invariably sold from small carts on the street; crates of them swaying dangerously surrounded by veiled women pushing, shoving and reaching for their fragile prize. When we found a vendor, we always bought multiple boxes and distributed our find to friends. Who knew when we would see them again! The eggs were caked with bits of straw, mud and chicken excrement. I still remember washing those eggs and then filling the sink with water and disinfectant, throwing away the bad ones that floated to the top. And the caviar! We consumed countless tins of it, carelessly ladling mounds of the precious fish eggs on small blinis sprinkled with onion and chopped egg. I take it all back, that is what I miss the most, those gorgeous pearly globes from the Caspian Sea.


  1. You have made me hungry for Maine sweet corn!

  2. I wish you were still here to have some! xo

  3. I have an Iranian friend - one day I would love to go and visit Iran with her. How long did you live there? It must've been quite an experience.

  4. Hi Rachel, We lived in Tehran for two years and left during the revolution. Iran is heartbreakingly beautiful...I still miss it and the people who live there...my memories are from a long time ago and I'm sure many things have changed...in fact, a whole new generation has been born and grown up. I hope you will have a chance to visit someday. Your sharp eyes and sensitivity to other cultures will make the experience unforgettable.


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