We felt surprised and delighted when we received an e-mail message from Mohammadreza Ghasemi who lives with his family in Sharoud, Iran. Mohammadreza’s e-mail is a response to Kristine Jacobson’s story on the sisters – Ana Gonzalez and Veronica Ramsey’s bakery business in Grand Island, Nebraska. See Kristine’s story of the Enchanted Bakery at www.Nebraskaruralliving.com, March Rural Foodies.
Mohammadreze writes, “I see your program (Nebraska Rural Living) in VOA (Voice of America) Persian channel. We live in Shahroud north eastern Iran. Shahroud means “small continent” in Iran, because a forest surrounds the city on the north, and a desert and wilderness border our city on the south.” Mohammadreza adds, “The oldest hirkani forest in the world grows near Shahroud.”
>> www.payvand.com/news reports that the “Hirkani forest is considered one of the unique forests in the world which has covered the northern mountain-skirts of Alborz and the southern shore of the Caspian Sea. This green belt continues from Astara in the northwest to Gorgan province in the east.”
Mohammadreze attached photos of delicate and beautiful bakery products to his message.
He says, “My wife, Mrs. Naeimeh Kalantari is a teacher at the Shahroud Technical Institute. She earned a license from Iran’s Department of Technical and Vocational Education. She majored in food industries (cooking and pastry) and handicraft (carpet weaving). For more than ten years she has educated women in the art and business of baking and carpet weaving, and she produces these cakes, cookies, and woven products.”
“These pictures of food and a carpet were handmade by her” said Mohammadreze. “The pictures are samples from food, homemade pastry and carpet from our city, and In the meantime, my job is a miner and I have a limestone mine.”
“The pastries filled with orange products are typically served in the city and are popular as souvenirs of Sharoud,” he explains. “The two products are processed from apricots. In Farsi language we call one type of apricot, “Gheisi” because we eat a delicous kernel inside this apricot, and the other apricot, we call “Bargeh,” and it grows without a kernel. We export large amounts of both apricots. We also make and export a sugar loaf candy that is served with tea and coffee. In Farsi, the candy is “Abnabat,” and “Noghl.”
Mohammadreza Ghasemi says, “I would describe Shahroud pastry as more and less sweet than the common Iranian pastry, roulette.”
I researched a Persian cooking website www.persianmama.com to learn about Roulette. I read the following description:
This is a light, moist cake filled with vanilla whipped cream and it is simply one of the best desserts I have ever had. Rollet has been baked in Iranian pastry shops a lot longer than most of the desserts that are around these days. The principal idea of the present day layered whipped cream desserts has been based on using the same simple ingredients as Rollet. But there is nothing simple about the presentation or the taste of this amazing dessert.
Mohammadreza says, “We export homemade pastry, carpets and the carpet tableau. Our customers are people from many cities in Iran, and we can export through DHL post.”
Contact Information for Mohammadreza Ghasemi
My house telephone #: 0098-23-32227159
Mobile, Masoud (my son): 0098-9128731993
I am at your service,
Thank you for writing Mohammadreza and family, and thank you for the photos of the pastries and the apricots and yourselves. In the future, we may be able to order from your commercial website. With regard, Betty Sayers at www.nebraskaruralliving.com