Now ’tis the season of wonderful street foods in Tehran. Living in a country where there are practically no hygienic standards are imposed on food services has its upsides- a variety of crazy cheap street snacks served hot by street vendors. Who cares if you will get food-poisoning and probably die? They’re tasty and hot. Here are some of my favourites.
1-The number one all-star of street snacks, not an authentic Persian food, (if there is any such thing), but called bizarrely “Mexican corn cup”, and available every 50 metres. It’s simply a plastic cup filled with steaming canned corn, flavoured with any or all of the following: butter; mayonnaise, curry powder, lemon juice, parmesan, oregano, grated cheese, lemon-pepper spice… Usually there’s is a rack of different spices you can choose from to flavour it excatly the way you wish. Oh god I am salivating…
2-Boiled beets. Not so exciting, you might think. Well you would be wrong. There is something intense about the huge vat full of dark red juice and beets (OK, OK, so they say it’s dyed with chemical colourants which will give you cancer and make your hair fall out. Whatever). The beets are hot and sweet and dark dark red. Gorgeous.
3-Fava beans. Once more, cooked in huge vats, sprinkled liberally with spices and splashed about with vinegar. A bit fussy, what with trying to peel each bean, but well worth the fuss.
So. The air is heavy and polluted, the streets are crowded, people are rude and shove, and any second, something terrible might happen to you. Or your family. However, at least you can get nice things to eat.