Pardiz is a personal journey into Manuela Darling-Gansser's "paradise past". Having lived in Iran for the first nine years of her life, she returned as an adult to reconnect with the country she remembered so fondly. This book is a celebration of that time; a compilation of memories, stories and beautiful recipes that underline the depth and broad appeal of this great and enduring food culture.
In Pardiz, what Darling-Gansser does is show how seamlessly Persian food fits with trends of today: flourishing food markets; the primacy of local ingredients; the health-giving aspects of vegetable-centric dishes; and the joys of a shared table. The latter is a theme in her book – and in her life.
In her choice of recipes, she gives a sense of the diversity of Persian food – whether it is served in a restaurant, eaten at home, prepared for a picnic, or enjoyed on the street, the setting can determine what is served. Ultimately, she focuses on recipes that are not too complicated or time consuming – recognising the great virtue that is simplicity. And encouraging readers to embrace the sociability that goes with the food as much as the food itself.