Standing in the kitchen preparing stir fry veggies and fried noodles for dinner, I giggled to myself as I watched Abi slice a piece of sourdough bread for himself.  Homemade Chinese food with a slice of bread.  Makes me smile every time.  Life’s bread.  I swear it’s in the Persian gene pool.

Life’s Bread

If you have a little piece of bread, then you need a little piece of cheese.  And if you end up with a little extra cheese, well then of course you need another bite of bread.  And on it goes.  It’s the saga of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.  Please tell me you know that story.

Persian Bread

I’m guessing one can find a loaf of french bread or something similar to Wonder Bread in Iran, but I suspect you’d have to really look for it.  Persian bread is flat and long, or round and somewhat bumpy. Those are scientific terms by the way.

Life's Bread
Getting ready to slide into the oven.  See the bread hanging?

Persian bread is served with every meal.  Breakfast is most often bread, butter, cheese, honey and tea.  Freshly baked bread on the breakfast table is a treat like no other.  Warm bread with butter and honey dripping off the edges – it doesn’t get much better.

A Bakery on Every Block

And much like in any European city, you can find a nanvaee – bread bakery – on every block.  While in Tehran, our nephew brought us freshly baked bread nearly every morning.

Now that’s some long loaves of bread known as Sangak.  Each one sells for about 90 cents.
Bread in Shiraz

While on our 5-day road trip across Iran, Abi and I happened upon a street bakery in Shiraz.  We waited for the bread to find its way out of the oven and into our eagerly awaiting hands so we could tear off a piece, wrap it around a chunk of Feta Cheese and inhale.  Man it was good!

See the bread on the rack?
Shiraz, Iran – See the bread on the rack?  Each one sells for about 40 cents.
Bread in Isfahan

In Isfahan, within the grounds of the Chehel Sotoun Palace, sat these two strong women baking what else?  Life’s bread.  The strength of these women to be able to sit there for hours rolling out and baking bread was humbling to see.

Strong Iranian women doing what they know how to do.
Iranian gypsy women doing what they know how to do.
Oh, the Pastries!

To say we ate well while in Iran is an understatement.  I probably gained at least 5 – 8 lbs. between the amazing food and the pastries – oh, the pastries – and the bread.  It’s a good thing we walked across Spain after leaving Iran.

See the basket of bread?  What else do you see – a name brand product?!  Sanctions?  Right.

This, my friends, was lunch! Abi's sister is one fine cook.
This, my friends, was lunch! Abi’s sister is one fine cook.

Life’s bread, bought fresh each day, sometimes twice a day.  It’s that good!

This is our 5th post in our Putting a Face on Iran series.

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