I Meet Lots Of Persians And I Like Persian Food But Where Is Persia Anyway?

Persian Food Made Me Think of Persia

Persian food, FitOldDog's advice, business,

Mally and Kate making wonderful Persian food at the Pomegranate Kitchen, in Durham, NC. Photo by FitOldDog, with permission.

Where is Persia?

I think that Persia lies in the hearts and minds of people.

Like Mally, who is proud of her origins.

I wrote this post long before I converted to vegan cooking, in order to save the animals.

Fortunately, Persian food is easy to convert to a vegan cooking format.

Where Is Or Was The Country Of Persia?

Iran contains an important remnant of this once mighty empire.

Persian food, Ironman, FitOldDog's advice, learn your history, ancient empires,

Map of ancient Persia, a large and powerful Empire, and one of the few things that FitOldDog remembers from school history classes.

When I was 13-years old I was given a choice that I could make without reference to anyone, as far as I can remember – the choice of subjects to study. With my being on the science track (in my 13-year old mind), I elected to forgo history. Can you believe that? I was allowed to stop studying history, probably the second (maybe third) most important subject in the human world. As far as I can tell, everything, yes everything is the product of its history. Without it’s history it wouldn’t be there, and if you don’t understand a thing’s history you will have real difficulty understanding it.

Persia, Iran, History, FitOldDog's advice,

Is this what is left of Persia? Could somebody help me to sort this out, I wonder?

History is a critical field of study.

About a year ago, I was asked by Jess (step daughter), then 16, to help her write a one paragraph ‘essay’ on the Gaza Strip. I responded by saying, “Jess, do you know anything about the history of Palestine and the creation of The State of Israel?” Jess said that she did not. Without such knowledge, how could Jess understand what is going on in Gaza today? I’ve read about it, and I have a hard time working it out. Fortunately, a little history did stick in my pubescent mind, this being a map of the Persian Empire. An old map! The empire, by the standards of the day, was pretty big! And then I start to meet people who call themselves Persians, but they largely come from Iran, and I spent a lot of time being very confused about this, until I worked it all out. A country, a sport, a hobby, a religion, a politic, a science, an anything, really lies in the minds of people.

Persian rice at Quince & Fig

For wonderful vegan Persian recipes, go to the Quince & Fig website.

A country depends upon people, to remember its nature and existence. In fact to love the country. This is also true of many things that humans hold dear, and mistake for fact, including sports. Each sport has an origin, a life, and a demise. It’s just the way it is. Running is probably the oldest and most enduring, whilst my current sport, Ironman, is of very recent origin, based upon a decision by a few guys to swim from here to there, then bike from there to here, and then run from here to someplace else. In fact, this history was recounted in detail by a nice guy with a microphone who was entertaining the crowd of supporters as I waited for my son to exit from the swim at the Saint George Ironman, 2012. The Ironman, of no account 50 years ago, is real in many people’s minds today, including mine when I’m finishing one. And do you know what you do after finishing an Ironman, after your stomach has calmed down? You eat!!!! And I love Persian food.

Persian food, Johnny's Gone Fishing Carrboro NC, FitOldDog's advice, Ironman appetite,

If you have an ‘Ironman Appetite,’ Persian food is what you need. Solid tasty and satisfying. Photo by FitOldDog.

We used to sell Mally’s Persian food at Johnny’s Gone Fishing, a little business in Carrboro, North Carolina. We bought it from Mally, mark it up a little to cover our travel costs for pickup, and a little profit. To be honest, I ate a lot of it (Yes! I did pay, co-owner or no co-owner).

FitOldDog’s advice is that you give Persian food a try. When I eat this delicious food, full of spices and rich things, I think of the ancient Persians. I wonder what they would think of Iran, or the Ironman, or McDonald’s for that matter.

From time to time I get traffic to this blog from Iraq, but never Iran (or North Korea for that matter) – won’t it be great when we get such things sorted out.

Isn’t wondering the real spice of life?


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PS I think I’ll go put on some rice for my plant-based vegan dinner!



  1. I didn’t like History when I was younger either…didn’t see the sense of learning about dead people. (naive) And I thought Persia was (is) somewhere in the Mediterranean…but I don’t know. I’d have to google it.

  2. Hi Wanda,
    I like your website – makes me want to eat healthy food. I’ll look it over, and use it as a basis for a post if you like. Food -> good.
    You also link to ARIN – which I have never heard of, but it sounds interesting. What is that about?
    The whole Persia thing is very interesting, and I suspect it relates to the positive image of Persia as a great culture and the negative image of Iran right now, which I hope will pass as there are good things there too. Would love to visit the ‘cradle of civilization’ (though civilization can be overrated) when it is safe to do so.
    Kevin aka @FitOldDog

  3. Hi Kevin! I ended up here via Twitter.

    You are right on the money when suspecting that the positive image of Persian as an ancient culture and the current negative image of Iran plays a role in how Iranians self-identify in diaspora.
    I make it a point (of honor for myself) to introduce myself as an Iranian or Iranian American when meeting people but I do prefer the sound of “Persian” to be honest. But Iran is Persia, Persia is Iran. To blur the lines somewhat, the language spoken in Iran (called Farsi in Iran) is called Persian in English.

    You should totally go and visit. Lots of non-Iranians go and all reportedly have a great time. Speaking of visits, I have a Persian food blog and I have never had any traffic from Iran but I think that’s probably because people there use proxy servers.

    Cool post and happy to find your blog.

  4. Hi Quince and Fig, I really appreciated your comment, and I am now following your blog. I love Iranian/Persian food. I will go there one day, especially as I would like to see the old sites of human evolution. OK! Got to sleep, big race day tomorrow. Cheers, kevin aka FitOldDog

    • I came by to say hi again and also, I found this on Pinterest, and thought it might whet your appetite for a potential trip to Iran someday: http://pinterest.com/sh4509/
      (I haven’t been back since I was a child and I’m pining to go back myself one day. )

      I’m delighted to follow you and your blog!

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