What is Assyrian Food? Listen in to KCRW's Good Food and Get a Taste. The Assyrian Food Festival. Tarzana, CA.
Last weekend, I checked out the Assyrian Food Festival in Tarzana, CA. I remember driving down Victory Blvd. and seeing a small sign advertising the event for a few years now and wondering what Assyrian food and culture is about. This was my chance to finally discover in present day life the food and people of ancient Assyria.
Assyrian food is a lot like much of the food in the Middle East. Although some items such as ShirKhalwa with Zafran, a sweet milk with rice, I've never seen or eaten before.
Dolmas are typically meat and rice stuffed into some kind of vegetable. The one I had is similar to Greek stuffed grape leaves.
And like any good food festival, there was a fried meat treat. The fried meat roll called Pirashkiet Besra is quite spectacular in length and girth but pretty light, airy and delicate. Sort of like doughnut filled sparsely with mince meat.
My final destination was a much needed pampering in the festival's Tea Tent. Shielded from the Valley sun, I enjoyed Assyrian tea and coffee also known as Chai Rangana and Ghava'd Atooraye.
You can listen to my story this Saturday, May 14th at 11AM on KCRW's Good Food Show with Evan Kleiman on 89.9FM and anytime after it airs on KCRW.com.