Lavashak is another sweet delicacy, which I became quite addicted to - well it's dried sheets of pulped fruits, which again comes in slightly different textures. Its just fruit, so its one of my '5 a day'!!
Typing this now, my mouth's watering at the memory of the sweet and sour flavour of the sheets of fruit
Majid had bought a packet of mixed fruit lavashak from a shop earlier, but I was pleased to find a man selling tubs containing some that was homemade. Before buying, he offered me a piece to try - An explosion of fruit flavours with the sour kick, hit my mouth!
Driving back to Bandar-e-Anzali, we chewed and sucked these sheets of fruit.
What to buy: Lavashak - either single flavour or mixed fruit
What to pay: I paid 20,000 Rialls for a tub of homemade lavashak.
Packed sheets that are commercially produced started at 10,000R
While I'd stopped to take a photo, Majid had disappeared into a shop. This small store was stacked with boxes of the local halva. I'd only tried halva once, years ago, which I hadn't really liked -a sickly sweet and slightly greasy lump of an unfamiliar nutty flavour, with a strange dry texture too - I later found out that this was tahini or sesame seed halva.
I now know that Halva covers a variety of sweet confectionary from all over the Mediterranean, Middle East and beyond. The word halva originates from the arabic halwa, which means sweet -
Later, in a hotel, I was offered a sweet spread at breakfast, that I was told was halva, there were also slabs of a brown dry sweet - which again was halva! Confusing!
While Majid was selecting a box of sweets for his fiancee, the shopkeeper offered me pieces of different flavours to try. These were completely different in texture and taste to my previous experience. Pistacchio, and the local honey flavours were my favourites.
Asali (honey) Halva is the speciality of the Gilan Province. It is made from rice flour, which gives it a different texture from the usual semolina or wheat flour.
Butter, sugar and rose water are the other ingredients in Iranian halva
I didn't buy any halva - it was still early in my trip, so I didn't want to be carrying any extra weight in my already full luggage - I was also fearing for my teeth, and waist line!
The boxes of halva in this shop have local scenes of Mesulah and Gilan etc.
What to buy: Different flavours and textures of Halva - boxed or sold loose, in single flavours or mixed.
The most important handicrafts of Masouleh are chamoosh ( kinds of shoes), a simple kind of Carpet which is called Jajim (coarse) and Gelim (short-napped coarse Carpet), woolen socks and gloves and dolls. Every tourist who comes to Masouleh , wishes to buy a small coarse or any other handicrafts as a souvenir.
What to pay: $15 for each