Iran serves up Silk Road cuisine

As the ink dries on agreements to limit Iran’s nuclear programme and lifting of sanctions, the country is welcoming tourists eager to experience sights and experiences long off limits to visitors. Beautifully rugged mountain ranges offer skiing, mountaineering and other adventure sports, while 19 sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list including the must see ancient city of Persepolis and a world class cuisine, the country is a welcome addition to any traveller’s wish list.

The Persepolis Griffin, Iran. Source: Travel the Unknown
The Persepolis Griffin, Iran. Source: Travel the Unknown

As part of  Tehran’s campagin to attract foregin tourist and inspire locals by celebrating the country’s food and drink offering, this week has seen a new food festival open its doors. The ECO-Silk Road Food Festival held in Zenjan, some 250 miles northwest of the capital Tehran runs until September 4.

ECO Deputy Secretary General, Hayri Maraslioglu said that food is a door towards national and regional culture, adding “food displays the culture of the region’s people which is indeed attractive for tourists as well,” reports the Mehr News Agency.

“People like to taste different and healthy food nowadays which can lead to expanding food industry.” he added.

“Nowadays some 30 percent of travelling expenditure is allocated to food which makes it a great field for investing.”

ECO is a Eurasian political and economic intergovernmental organization founded in 1985 in Tehran by the leaders of Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. By 1993, ECO had expanded to include seven new members: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

To get a flavour of Iranian/Persian cooking try some recipes from ‘Persiana, Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond’, by Sabrina Ghayour. Also the blogs and offer great recipes, recipes and info about the country’s cuisine.


Bruce McMichael

Food writing, discovering food stories, meeting producers, chefs and food enthusiasts are all part of desire to inspire, inform my readers and fellow food lovers. I am a freelance writer, journalist and published author focusing on the international world of food and drink, culture and travel. In 2019 I graduated from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy with a Masters in Food Culture, Communication and Marketing. I am now a visiting Professor at the university teaching Food & Drink Writing. Based in London I travel widely, particularly across western Europe. I have chaired many conferences and meetings, spoken at conferences and events and often appear on radio and TV talking most about food, the business of food and being an entrepreneur. In 2017 I won an episode of the ITV (the UK-based national television channel) cooking competition show, 'Gordon Ramsay's Culinary Genius'. I took my children on holiday to Sicily with the prize money. As an experienced farmers' market manager and operator of a small marmalade/ preserves company, I am very familiar with the issues surrounding local food, farming, enterprise and the environment.