I always try to do a bit of preparation for my travels. There’s the basic, important topics like vaccinations, visas and banned import items. Then there’s a look at guide books and a brief read of the history of the place. But what I really want is to get a feel for the place, not just facts; I want to have some understanding of their culture. I try to read some fiction set in or written by people from the country I’m going to; I make an effort to learn at least the basics of the language; I listen to some music; and I often watch some local tv or maybe a film.
Today, though, I found the tastiest introduction so far – an introduction to a country that is high on my bucket list, and just moved higher. Just ten weeks ago, the UK’s first Persian ice cream parlour opened in St Albans. It is run by a charming young woman whose family is from Iran and who has fond memories of Persian flavours from her childhood.
Persia has a proud history in ice cream, recognised as the inventors of this chilly dessert back in 500 BC, when fruit juice was added to snow and ice. Around 100 years later, this developed into Faloodeh, an ice dessert suitable for the Royal Family, with rose water, vermicelli, saffron and fruits.
To get a delicious taste of some of the flavours of Iran, be sure to visit Darlish. There’s a great selection of ice creams and sorbets, plus drinks and wonderful baklava. The service is efficient and friendly and there’s a pleasant seating area at the rear. I predict that many of my local coffee breaks will convert into ice cream breaks.
If you’re in London, and don’t have time to get to St Albans, you can get the same pleasures at a Darlish pop-up in Selfridges.
Darlish, 5 French Row, St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 19 June 2018
Posted as part of Tuesday Photo Challenge