Persians love dried fruit and nuts.Dried fruit and nuts are the basis for most trail mixes. Ergo, thought yours truly, there ought to be a Persian Trail Mix.
The vibrant flavors always taste festive to me, reminding me of socializing with family and friends, snacking as we chatted and sipped chai. It’s kind of the best of East meets West. Take the unhurried pastime of chilling with friends and fam over snacks and tea, and marry it with the nutritious and portable reality of trail mix, and voila! A snack that feels both luxurious and smart.
Plus, trail mix is a healthy and satisfying snack that can be enjoyed on the go. I personally love it. It’s not too sweet, perfectly crunchy, and a bit salty, too. It’s ridiculously easy to put together. No cooking needed! So onward, to gather ingredients. . .
While in L.A., my friend Nedarah and I hit Larry’s Produce. I find visiting local markets when I’m traveling fascinating. It gives you a bit of insight into where you are, and the culinary culture of that particular place.
As for Larry’s, it’s a well-known market run by Persians, and specializing in all manner of Persian goodies, plus other great foodstuffs popular in the Middle East. The prices and quality of their products, by the way, are excellent.
Which brings up an important point: Don’t let the fact that a market is “specialty” food you. Explore. Specialty markets often have hard-to-find items at hard-to-beat prices. And so it was with Larry’s.
A bit about Nedarah. She’s an amazingly talented R&B singer. Don’t let her petite stature full you. This young lady has a big, beautiful voice and a healthy appetite. You’d never guess either just by looking at her. She’s as much of a foodie as I am, if not more so! She’s also an excellent cook and a lot of fun to hang out with.
So we hit the market, and I went to town buying fresh fruits and veggies for the rest of my stay with Nedarah and company. For the road, I bought some dried fruits, nuts and seeds for my very own Persian trail mix.
Like any trail mix, there are many variations. This one just happens to have a Persian flair, thanks to the addition of dried cherries, Persian pistachios (the world’s best) and dried mulberries (toot, as they say in both Arabic and Persian).
No measuring is needed for this recipe. I’d say to make the ratio about 3 to 1. As in three parts nuts and seeds to one part sweet dried fruits. Experiment. Find a mix that works for you. Here’s what’s in my mix:
Bria’s Persian Trail Mix
Handful of cashews
Handful of walnut halves or pieces
Handful of dried chickpeas
Handful of toasted squash seeds (sunflower seeds could also work)
Handful of almonds
Small handful of dried cherries
Small handful of plump golden and black raisins
Small handful of dried mulberries
Sprinkling of high-quality pistachios. Leave the shells on for presentation, but make sure to remove shells before eating.
Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container or put in a pretty bowl to enjoy with friends and family.