I spent several hours at the Fancy Food Show this week -- there's nothing like walking the Moscone floor, going from caramels to cheese to chips and back again to test the fortitude of one's stomach. Personally, I have a limited daily tolerance, and I really have respect for the food buyers who do this three times a year, three days at a time... not to mention all the off-site tastings and events they attend.
But the real point of this post is this: Mashti Malone, makers of the Persian ice creams I grew up eating, the people who brought a taste of Tehran summers to Tehrangeles... well, they're all grown up and going Whole Foods on us.
I'm thrilled. Really. I love seeing my ham-vatan, my countrymen, attaining success. But my first question of Mashti Shirvani, the president of Mashti Malone was: "are you changing the packaging for the Persian markets, too?!?" Because that ubiquitous clear plastic tub with its pink and blue "Fingilishi" (Farsi-English hybrid, the national language of Tehrangeles) speaks volumes.
It's the one food all Persian kids like, whether or not they speak Farsi. At Charshambeh Soori celebrations all across California, everyone walks around with "bastani" -- rosewater & pistachio ice cream -- sandwiched between two crispy wafers... the Persian ice cream sandwich.
On hot summer days, many of us crave "faloodeh" with a vengeance. This icy rosewater sorbet is threaded througout with rice flour "noodles", providing a gentle crunch and textural interest. Drizzled with sour cherry syrup and/or lemon juice, there are few things as refreshing.
Mashti has brought a taste of Tehran home to us. His ice creams are so true to what one gets in Iran. The cream-based flavors are dense, not like the over-whipped, fluffy ice creams so often favored by American palates, down to the chunks of frozen cream in the rosewater ice cream. All of the flavors are strong, like those you'd find a local San Francisco favorite, Bombay.
I'm thrilled to hear that Mashti Malone will soon be available in Whole Foods, as well as other national outlets, in their new standardized sizes (pint and half-gallon). Meanwhile, they will ship anywhere in the US, and I encourage you to give these heavenly flavors a taste.