Barbarries / Zereshk
- 150 grams of barbarries
- Also known as zereshk, pipperages,barberry, zirishk
- Sour fruit
Barbarries are a dried fruit used in Persian cooking and in some way resemble the more common cranberry. Whilst the product might be used to stuff quail or used in jam, they are most commonly added to rice to cook the dish zeresk polow. This result is a sour dish which is often paired with saffron.
There are various ways to cook this dish and many variations can be seen online.
The berries are edible and rich in vitamin C, though with a very sharp flavour; the thorny shrubs make harvesting them difficult, so in most places, they are not widely consumed. They are an important food for many small birds, which disperse the seeds in their droppings.
A widely available Russian candy called Барбарис (Barberis) is made using an extract from the berries, which are pictured on the wrapper.
In Europe, the berries have been traditionally used as an ingredient in making jam. The berries are high in pectin which makes the jam congeal as it cools after having been boiled. In southwestern Asia, especially Iran, the berries are used for cooking, as well as for jam-making. In Iran, barberries are commonly used as a currant in rice pilaf.