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.
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 www.mypersiankitchen.com and www.najmieh.com offer great recipes, recipes and info about the country’s cuisine.