Our barberries have a wonderful all-natural fruity burst of tart, tangy and lemony flavour. These little red rubies pack a serious punch of flavour and are incredibly useful to have in the cupboard! While great on their own, they also serve as a simple, flavourful and unique complement to countless dishes. Traditionally, barberries have been used for centuries in Iran (dating back to the Persian Empire) to add flavour to rice with saffron and meat. Try soaking, crushing or even frying them!
A Persian delight that is also common throughout Europe, the common barberry is a shrub that produces very acidic, but wonderfully edible, berries. Our secret is to source barberries from a variety of small suppliers that get the moisture content just right so their natural sugars are more concentrated, giving them a tart yet sweet bite that is not common to the North American palate. But remember, you can always find something unique at Ayoub’s. Throughout Middle Eastern history, the barberry has been used as a currant in rice pilaf and other savoury dishes. Our barberries are sourced from the eastern regions of Iran where the berries are known as “zereshk.”
Ingredients: Barberries (that's it!)
A zereshk garden is called a zereshk-estan.
Add to a lemon mayonnaise chicken salad
Use for a red currant jelly, jam, sauce, or pickled (with curries)
Swell them by soaking for 10 mins. in cold water; drain; sauté in oil
Add to cooked rice (with sliced almonds, cumin, coriander)
Perfect complement to lamb: mix them into a stuffing mix (with chopped almonds, cooked rice, onions, laced with cumin and coriander)
Crush still-dry berries with coarse salt into a rough powder for a spice rub
Rub on to lamb, pork, or chicken before grilling for a tangy edge
Apply to any fish just before grilling
Great with homemade mincemeat (orange zest and cinnamon)
Fry with orange zest, cinnamon and saffron for a treat on its own
(or to add to a dish)