Advertisement

Newsletter: the Iranian date cake that is a gift for Los Angeles

Must Read

For these sports stars there is only one (real estate) agent in the city

When the Rams drafted Jared Goff in 2016, the highly recommended rookie quarterback arrived in L.A. as a 21-year-old...

Doc Rivers calls Clippers & # 39; planning this weekend & # 39; ridiculous & # 39;

Before the Clippers can return to Los Angeles for their first home game in two weeks, they will complete...

Column: Farewell to the immense, disappointing Newseum

We are taught from an early age not to speak evil about the dead (unless we write obituaries), so...

Fariba Nafissi was an executive manager at IKEA in Burbank for almost 20 years when she received one of life's most shocking wake-up calls. She had planned a trip to visit Iran, her homeland, with her cousin Shahroo, who had started a few weeks earlier. Before Nafissi arrived, Shahroo died in her sleep. Nafissi soon asked questions about what gave her life the most meaning.

Baking was part of the answer. Nafissi grew up in Kerman, a city in southeastern Iran on the edge of the Lut desert. Dates are an important local harvest; she remembers that her father had a bowl of yogurt with dates every day as part of his lunch.

One of the distinctive treats in the region is kolompeh, a soft, golden cookie filled with dates, nuts and spices. Bakers use special stamps to make patterns in the dough. Four years ago, Nafissi started selling kolompeh on Etsy. Their beautiful shape and soothing flavors quickly found an audience and Nafissi settled down ZoZo Baking.

Her retail trade was mostly online, but in September Nafissi opened her first store in the quiet concrete caves of the Simi Valley shopping center, behind a California Pizza Kitchen. The space is partly a production facility and partly a coffee shop, with a communal table and couch and corners with small displays of silver jewelry, books on Persian cooking and brightly colored crockery for sale. You can order quite thick Turkish coffee with your delicacies, as well as espresso and scented tea.

The counter in the back right of the store shows the full repertoire of Iranian baked products. There are piles of nan-e nokhodchi, chickpea flour cookies pressed into clover molds; their pleasantly sandy texture dissolves in the tongue and leaves behind the sweet musk of cardamom. Nafissi describes qhotabs as & # 39; mini-hand pies & # 39 ;, thumb-pastries stuffed with walnut paste and spices. She serves her version of baklava in small diamonds; the dough is thicker than the Greek or Lebanese phyllo-based variations, and rose water gently smells the pistachio or almond fillings.

Fariba Nafissi in her store, Zozo Baking, in Simi Valley.

(Bill Addison / Los Angeles Times)

Kolompeh commands centrally, fanned out on a large board. I want to take them by the hand. The stamp gives their rounded edges a ribbed appearance; in the middle swirl patterns from Paisley and small spheres the size of pearl couscous.

Nafissi makes famous American flavor combinations – apple-cinnamon, blueberry-almond, strawberry, a seasonal cranberry number that she has recently crafted – but her traditional kolompeh is by far the most beautiful. Yogurt and egg yolk soften the dough; the edges are delicate and crumbly. She uses no other sweetener beyond the dates. Saffron gives the cookie its sunny color and the spice mix illuminates the brain: sparks of cinnamon and cloves, a floral hit of rose petals, a sneaky micro-pinch of cumin that enhances the other flavors. Ground pistachio nuts add a final of soft crunch.

The Nafissi shop is charming and the trek from central Los Angeles to Simi Valley includes some beautiful mountain views along the highways. It is also easy to order kolompeh and other pastries through its online site. I had never tried a kolompeh before, but they are now my go-to-food gift this season.

TOP STORIES

somni assessment

"Fresas con natas", a strawberry dessert at Somni.

(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

I rated one of the most expensive and outrageous restaurants in Los Angeles this week: José Andrés " somni in the SLS Beverly Hills. It is a big excess and a difficult to obtain reservation; it is also a tempting, beautiful piece of the jigsaw puzzle of Los Angeles.

Fellow critic Patricia Escárcega goes to Sawtelle's Mogu Mogu to illuminate the style of bouillon-free windows, called measles.

Continue this week From Lucas Kwan Peterson Off Menu: build community via the foodways of skid row, the epicenter of the homeless crisis of L.A.

Euno Lee has a guide to Koreatown in Orange County Garden grove.

Genevieve Ko brings us the recipe APL & # 39; s lemon-like kale salad.

And one last comment Thanksgiving dinner this year from culture columnist and critic Mary McNamara.

Don't forget: The Times throws an event to celebrate the release of 101 best restaurants this year Monday, December 9! The bash, held this year in the center of Vibiana, contains food from 30 of the restaurants that were on the list. I hide my face and am not present, but food editor Peter Meehan will be there to present the list.

window.fbAsyncInit = function() {
FB.init({

appId : ‘119932621434123’,

xfbml : true,
version : ‘v2.9’
});
};

(function(d, s, id){
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)(0);
if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;}
js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
js.src = “https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest News

For these sports stars there is only one (real estate) agent in the city

When the Rams drafted Jared Goff in 2016, the highly recommended rookie quarterback arrived in L.A. as a 21-year-old...

Doc Rivers calls Clippers & # 39; planning this weekend & # 39; ridiculous & # 39;

Before the Clippers can return to Los Angeles for their first home game in two weeks, they will complete a six-game trip by playing...

Column: Farewell to the immense, disappointing Newseum

We are taught from an early age not to speak evil about the dead (unless we write obituaries), so I suppose I should keep...

Holiday gifts: 10 gift ideas to recharge body, mind and soul

Here are our favorite philanthropic and experiential gifts to recharge mind, body and soul this season.Philanthropic gifts Jonah Larson and We...

L.A. libraries will stop collecting late fees for overdue books and other material

For Angelenos, the days of stress about an overdue library book are almost coming to an end.Mayor Eric Garcetti announced in the Los Angeles...
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -