Jason Rezaian in Bourdain's Parts Unknown: ME AND GHORMEH SABZI [Persian cuisine]



That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate others. The funky and hard-to-place flavor of this stew of chopped and blended herbs, its lip-puckering dried lemon and tender pieces of meat, lures me like nothing else. The unmistakable smell of fenugreek is always the giveaway. No matter where in the world I have gone searching for ghormeh sabzi, more often than not it found me.

Ghormeh sabzi is hard to forget, because it doesn’t taste like anything else: pungently sour and a little bitter, but not so much so that it’s off-putting. Thanks to that pesky fenugreek, it has the additional property of staying with whoever eats it, literally coming through their pores. The effect varies from one person to the next, but I know people who will regretfully decline it for this very reason, even though they love the taste.

Note: Author Jason Rezaia grew up in the Bay Area and is an Iranian-American journalist who served as Tehran bureau chief for The Washington Post. He was held in a Tehran prison for about 18 months on vague charges.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold