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Edible barberry? "Zereshk"

Simin Hemmati-rasmussen ushemmat at uxa.ecn.bgu.edu
Wed Apr 3 15:48:52 EST 1996

In article <4js8hf$shc at Starbase.NeoSoft.COM>,
Brad Daniels <daniels at Starbase.NeoSoft.COM> wrote:
>I have developed a fondness for the Persian dish "zereshk polo", which
>is made from barberries with sugar and onions.  I was thinking it would
>be nice to grow the berries myself, since I rather like the look of the
>barberry plants I've seen, but I've discovered that there are a great many
>species of the genus berberus, and I would not like to get one that tastes
>bad, or worse yet is poisonous (though I doubt there are any such...)
>Does anyone know the scientific name for the species of barberry used in
>Iranian cooking?
>Also, as long as I'm on the subject, does anyone know the scientific name
>or at least the common English name of "albaloo"?  I tried ordering albaloo
>polo one time, but I got a dish with dried cherries, which is definitely
>not the same as the dried albaloo I tasted once.
>- Brad
>Brad Daniels			|  "Let others praise ancient times.
>daniels at neosoft.com		|   I am glad I was born in these."
>I don't work for NeoSoft, and	|	- Ovid (43 B.C. - 17 A.D)
>don't speak for my employer.	|

Dear Brad, Albaloo is a seasonal fruit in Iran. You can find fresh albaloo
in late June. It is dark with a sweet/sour taste. If ordering albaloo poloo
out of season you get a dish  made either from dry albaloo or jam.

The fruit close to albaloo in US is called sour cherries or tart cherries.
Wisconsin is known to be the sour cherry capital of the US and the first
picking is done around July 4th. The American sour cherry is lighter in
color and does not have the same sweet/sour taste as Persian albaloo. It is 
also very delicate and hard to ship to stores. It is usually pitted on 
site at processing plants and mixed with lots of sugar and corn starch 
for cherry pie.

In Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, summer" farmers market" sell fresh 
sour cherries for about 2 weeks as the season is a real short one.

Iranian stores generally have Persian dried albaloo for sale. I hope this
information is of help to you.

ShAd zi,

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