Zanjan Souvenirs | Why Are Zanjan Knives So Famous?

Zanjan Souvenirs

Zanjan Souvenirs Have a Lot of Varieties

Due to its geographical location, Zanjan province has been one of the main routes for inter-city traffic and has always received many travelers due to its proximity to the Silk Road. Zanjan souvenirs, which are among the most popular souvenirs in Iran, are divided into two categories: handicrafts and edibles. In addition to its special souvenirs, this province also has many places to visit, with ancient monuments that are very old throughout history. Zanjan souvenirs have a wide variety so if you ever travel to this beautiful province, whatever your taste, you will not be left empty-handed and return to your country with a suitcase full of Zanjan souvenirs. In this article, we are going to introduce Zanjan Souvenirs.

Zanjan Souvenirs

Zanjan Edible Souvenirs: Delicious Foods with Pleasant Taste

Each province in Iran has its own special foods and Zanjan province is no exception. Zanjan souvenirs are popular and special in the category of food, and children and adults equally enjoy eating these Zanjan souvenirs. In the following, we will introduce Zanjan’s edible souvenirs.

Shasti sweets: authentic Zanjan sweets

Shasti sweets are one of the delicious and authentic foods among the souvenirs of Zanjan. The people of Zanjan make this sweet in different flavors so if you plan to buy these Zanjan souvenirs, you can give more variety to your purchase. This sweet is called Shasti (meaning thumb-like) for two reasons. The first reason is that this sweet is as small as a thumb, and the second reason for this name is that when the locals cook this delicious sweet, they make a hole in it with their thumb to fill it with ingredients such as chocolate, honey, caramel, and jam.

The people of Zanjan use different raw materials such as local butter or solid oil, white flour, egg yolk, rice flour, sugar powder, cardamom powder, and infused saffron to cook this sweet. Sometimes, before baking these sweets in the oven, they are dipped in pistachio and almond slices to add to the deliciousness of Shasti sweets.

Angosht-Pich sweets: delicious souvenirs of Zanjan

Another delicious sweet of Zanjan province is Angosht-Pich (meaning wrapping around the finger). In the preparation of this sweet, ingredients that have a high concentration are used so that this sweet can be easily wrapped around the finger. And these thick ingredients include honey, grape juice, and the like.

Zanjan Souvenirs

Fewer raw materials are used in the preparation of Angosht-Pich sweets compared to other sweets. And unlike them, flour is not used in Angosht-Pich. Basic ingredients such as egg whites, water, sugar, rose water, etc. are used in cooking this simple and tasty sweet.

Ordak bread: local bread for Zanjan province

One of the local and traditional breads of Zanjan that you can buy is Ordak (duck) bread. In preparing these Zanjan souvenirs, milk, flour, eggs, sugar, baking powder, and oil are used as raw materials. The Ordak bread is not like most breads that are baked in the oven. Rather, after the dough of this bread is prepared, it is fried in oil.

Rice bread: delicious sweet in Zanjan style

Rice bread is another Zanjan souvenir that has a crispy texture and its special taste is very attractive and enjoyable for sweet lovers. Ingredients like rice flour, rose water, powdered sugar, eggs, water, butter, or Kermanshahi oil are used to prepare rice bread. Purslane seeds are also used to decorate it. Sometimes, before cooking the rice bread, people add saffron to the resulting dough, which gives the rice bread a unique aroma and taste.

Ghaziaghi: a type of self-seeding and aromatic plant

Ghaziaghi or Paghazeh is one of the self-seeding plants that has medicinal properties. These properties include the treatment of intestinal inflammation and stomach ulcers. Ghaziaghi is not available on all days of the year because this plant grows naturally and farmers do not cultivate it.

Zanjan Souvenirs

For this reason, when you go to Zanjan in the middle of spring, you can buy this plant from Zanjan markets. One of the common uses of this Zanjan souvenir in Azerbaijan and Zanjan province is that they often use Ghaziaghi as a vegetable for cooking.

Natural gum: delicious herbal juice

In autumn, after making a crack in the trunk of the Baneh or wild pistachio tree, a sap comes out, which is called natural gum. People use natural gum as chewing gum. By chewing it, in addition to being able to experience the feeling of the chewing gum of elderly people of Zanjan, you also prevent bad breath and tooth decay.

Valak or mountain onion: a car plant with unique properties

Onion is another vegetable in Zanjan and you can find this Zanjan souvenir mostly in the villages of this province. Mountain onion, unlike ordinary onions found in the market and vegetable shops, has a unique taste and a special aroma with greater antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. The people of Zanjan use mountain onions to prepare the local soup. It has made the local soup of Zanjan have a unique aroma and taste.

Zanjan Handicrafts: High-Quality and Original Souvenirs

Zanjan handicrafts are popular and famous worldwide and have a very desirable and suitable quality. In the following, we will introduce the second type of Zanjan souvenir to you, which is the result of the incomparable skill and art of the artists and craftsmen of Zanjan.

Zanjan Souvenirs

Knife: one of the highest quality souvenirs of Zanjan

The first Zanjan souvenir that we want to mention is the famous Zanjan knife. If there is one thing that Zanjan is famous for, it is a knife. The knife-making industry in Zanjan province has a long history and due to the high resistance and strength of these products, they have gained countless fans and housewives tend to use Zanjan knives in cooking and cutting.

Zanjan knife makers use stainless steel to make knives. And by hammering and heating the knife in several stages, they increase the durability of the knife. Also, they make Zanjan knives for use in various applications and in different types and dimensions such as simple knives, fruit cutters, ratchet, hunting knives, kitchen knives, cooking knives, pencil sharpeners, etc.

Coppersmithing: an old art in Zanjan

Coppersmithing is one of the old and important industries of Zanjan. And this province is famous for coppersmithing in addition to knife making. Besides being one of the most beautiful souvenirs of Zanjan, copper dishes are considered the best alternative to aluminum dishes. Zanjan coppersmiths use copper to create eye-catching cooking utensils and decorative items that are both of very good quality and durable. The distinguishing feature of copper vessels made in Zanjan from other cities in Iran is that Zanjani artists and coppersmiths use the carving method to create different and beautiful motifs and designs.

Zanjan Souvenirs

In addition to the beauty of their appearance, copper dishes have many benefits for the health of the body. Copper is one of the essential elements to maintain the health of the body and helps to strengthen the heart function. Among the other benefits of using copper dishes, we can mention increasing the speed of brain function, improving arthritis, relieving joint pain, improving spleen and liver function, and beautifying skin and hair.

Filigree: a precious art in Zanjan

If you ever travel to Zanjan, you will come across very beautiful and eye-catching silver dishes in the markets of Zanjan. They will make your eyes sparkle when you look at them. Filigree is one of the oldest handicrafts of Zanjan province. And for four centuries, the artists of Iran have been using this art to decorate silverware. These containers are naturally very valuable and also more expensive than other industries.

The art of filigree is a sub-branch of the metalworking industry that has been popular in Zanjan since the Seljuk period. And the prosperity of this art among the people of Zanjan has been mentioned in historical books and foreign travelogues. The art of filigree reached its peak of beauty and glory during the Safavid era, and the evidence of this is the surviving works from this era.

This art requires great precision and delicacy for the artist to create a beautiful and elegant work. In this art, filigree artists use thin silver wires to create patterns such as paisley patterns, leaves, Farang leaves, buds, three springs, etc. Silver dishes such as sugar candies, trays, glass holders, vases, candlesticks, photo frames, chocolate bowls, and ornaments such as breast flowers are among the most expensive and colorful souvenirs of Zanjan.

Zanjan Souvenirs

Charuq Dozi: Traditional Footwear in Zanjan

According to a certain dictionary, the literal meaning of the word Charuq or Charaq is written as follows: “Leather shoes with straps wrapped around the foot.” This type of shoe was more popular in the past and most of the villagers, especially shepherds, used this shoe.

Today, Charuq no longer has its old use and is used as footwear for walking indoors and on carpets. This Zanjan souvenir has different designs and colors such as red, crimson, and brick, and is decorated with Golabeton wire or silk threads. This traditional footwear is produced in various types of lace, curtains, and all leather and you can buy any model you like according to your taste.

Carpet weaving: a thousand-color art from Zanjan artists

Carpet is another souvenir of Zanjan and carpet weaving is one of the traditional handicrafts among the people of this province. This art has been common among the people of Zanjan since the Sassanid era and they are woven in various designs such as Bijar, Afshar, Riz Mahi, Mahi Darham, and Qaltoq. In the Kedar region of Zanjan province, a traditional type of carpet is woven with a large number of ridges and thick weft, which is very similar to Khersak. The most famous carpet woven by the Zanjan artists using woolen threads is the Afshar hand-woven carpet. It is a type of finely woven carpet and is mostly woven in the cities of Zanjan, Garmab, and Tarem.

Khatam: representing array and beauty

Another one of the most beautiful souvenirs of Zanjan is decorative dishes made with the delicate art of inlaying. Khatam (or Khatam-Kari, meaning Khatam working) is one of the ancient Iranian arts, which was also popular in Zanjan.

In this art, by putting together geometric patterns such as regular polygons, harmonic, balanced, and eye-pleasing patterns are created, which is a symbol of perfect creation and order in the universe. Raw materials such as all kinds of bone (horse bone, camel bone, elephant bone, and ivory), metal wires made of brass, aluminum, and silver, oyster, feather thread, silk, and lacquer are used in inlaying. The wooden part in Khatam-Kari is also made of walnut, jujube, ebony, betel, Begum, Orange, Populus Alba, and Acer monspessulanum trees.

Zanjan Souvenirs

In the Persian encyclopedia, Khatam-Kari is defined as: “The art of decorating objects like a mosaic with small triangles.” Various designs of Khatam have always been regular geometric shapes. These geometric shapes are patterned by placing small triangles together. Triangles are made from various types of wood, metal, and bone. The finer and tinier the triangle, the better the seal. In a Khatam design, at least three triangles are used to make the smallest geometric unit, and for the largest one, a maximum of four hundred triangles are used.

Things to consider when buying Khatam as a Zanjan Souvenir

It is very important that you buy original Khatam works as top Zanjan souvenirs. In order to recognize the high-quality material of an inlay product, you should pay attention to the following points:

  • The surface of the seal should be smooth and polished and not have holes
  • Materials and colors used in Khatam must be uniform
  • The shape and color of the seal should not change
  • Inlaid motifs and designs such as flowers and the sides and angles of geometric shapes should be similar to each other
  • According to the definition given in the encyclopedia, the smaller the triangles, the higher the quality of inlay work
  • The inlaid product should be painted with great skill and its cover should be scratch-free

Felt weaving: one of the most famous souvenirs of Zanjan

Felt and goods made with felt are another souvenir of Zanjan. The villagers of Zanjan province use the spring wool of sheep to make felt. In felt weaving, wool is subjected to pressure, humidity, and heat to produce felt. And no weaving takes place in this process. Various products such as felt bags, felt hats, felt coats, felt dolls, and rugs are made from felt.

You Will Enjoy Every Type of Zanjan Souvenir

As you know, no trip is complete without buying souvenirs and Zanjan has a treasure trove of souvenirs, just like other cities in Iran. This is why everyone who travels to this city will not return empty-handed.

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