…Xerxes was King of Persia, now known as Iran…Noe Rooz is the celebration of Persian New Year, which begins naturally with the beginning of a “new year”, on the first day of Spring. Many years ago, I met a wonderful woman named Mashid, who had emigrated from Iran to Canada with her family. We worked togther for three years and she became like another Mother to me (she has three daughters of her own). During that time, she shared a wealth of knowledge with me about Middle Eastern traditions and foods. She taught me how to make “good” rice and shared many Iranian treats with me. She also took me to a wonderful Persian Bakery in North Vancouver, Laleh Bakery
because she said that it was more fun to eat sweets than to make them.
My favourite was and still is Gaz, which you may have seen or eaten, the rich white nougat chock full of pistachios. Mashid would bring a bag of it with her to work and we would snack all day. When I can find it, I still buy it and slip it into my children’s lunch boxes for a treat. So far, no one has said that we cannot send pistachios to school!