Persian Superfood: Barberries – A healthy red jewel making chef recipes sparkle!
A humble but delicious ingredient that is incredibly rich in vitamin C, the European barberry (Berberis vulgaris) has been revered and used for its medicinal properties and health benefits. More and more chefs are using this tart little gem of a fruit in their cooking!
Proven to combat a wide range of ailments from digestive issues to liver problems, organic wild barberries are rich in essential nutrients. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and supports cardiovascular health. Barberries also contain a unique compound known as berberine that fights bacteria and viruses. To support overall health and well-being, barberries are rich in B-complex vitamins. A single serving of dried barberries is high in antioxidants, which fight free radicals and reduce the risk for premature aging.
A wise little fruit that adds an explosion of tart flavour to rice, couscous and meat dishes with phenomenal health benefits as a bonus!
Mico Grevo, Food & Beverage Manager at luxury brand Assouline in London’s Mayfair said: “Barberries look like little red jewels in appearance and are incredibly useful and versatile ingredients to have in any discerning chef’s larder – Our smoked salmon and barberry dish has proven a real hit with our sophisticated customers: sprinkled on smoked salmon, the berries’ acidity make them a perfect replacement for a slice of lemon.”
He continued: “Being dried, Barberries keep very well indeed. Just a little light soaking, frying or simmering is all that’s needed to plump them up and release their delicious flavour – like tangy, lemony currants. I am a real fan of barberries as they bring a burst of gorgeous colour and great flavour to our cold tasting plates”.
Barberries are an important ingredient in Iranian cookery, and are most seen in Persian restaurants. High in pectin, they were favoured for use in jams and jellies by English chefs, who called them ‘pipperages’.
There is no need to go to Persia to enjoy these little rubies, they are available on next day delivery from Princess D’isenbourg et Cie. To get the most out of them, they need to be rehydrated: soak them for 10 minutes in cold water and drain, then sauté gently in oil and a splash or two of more water, until they begin to swell. Barberries are great in stuffing mixes and work really well in chicken, pork and lamb dishes.
You’ll find the finest dried barberries (zereshk) at London-based fine ingredients supplier Princesse D’Isenbourg et Cie Click here