Oct 30, 2007

Pashmak & ice cream- something worth trying!

The fantastic thing about icecream is that there is absolutely no season for eating it. At least that is the case for me.

Many many times I've eaten delightful ice cream in the middle of the winter, sitting in front of the chimney wearing multiple layers of clothing...wishing that I was on a beach in Brasil instead...sigh. Like now for instance, it's getting colder each autumn day, but that is not stopping me from eating ice cream. It just puts me in a good mood, I can't help it!

Despite that it's a "year-long food" for me, I do however have flavour preferences depending on the season. For instance, now in autumn, I would much rather prefer chocolate- dark and bitter chocolate. Or one of those cake-y tart-y becomes ice cream flavours transformations (tarte tatin, creme brulée, cheesecake, etc). While in summer and spring, it's a lot more of "berry" ending flavours- strawberry, raspberry... and fruits like mango and kiwi.

Anyway, all this to say that ice cream is great with pashmak. Now what on earth is pashmak? Pashmak is cotton candy. Well, it looks like cotton candy, but it doesn't feel or look the same. I guess there are multiple names for pashmak- persian fairy floss, or in other parts of the Middle East it's called "ghasl el banat" which literally means "girl hair locks"... hmmm, but the translation is not so great in English. But for now, let's call this cotton-candy from the Orient: pashmak. And this is what it looks like:

Ah the glorious packaging, yes, a striking ressemblance to cotton pads packaging. But what is in there is SO GOOD. How can I explain that this stuff is SO FREAKIN GOOD! Well, if you like nutty flavours, then your chances of pashmak-appreciation is high. It's basically made of sugar and sesame oil, sometimes flavoured with vanilla. In some countries, it comes with pistachios sprinkled on top. In anycase, it is very different from the Western World cotton candy. Silkier and with a somewhat luxurious-gourmet edge, it differs in taste, look, and feel. Whenever I am in the Middle East, I bring some back (or I ask a friend/family to bring some back for me). The one in the above photo is from Iran.

My most recent discovery however is using pashmak as a topping for ice cream. I have no idea if that's something common to do, but for me it was a premiere, and a delightful surprise. First, it looks pretty on ice cream. Second, the contrast in textures in one's mouth is an experience of it's own (I should had put this as first!). Third, it's something different, and different is always a good way to impress family and friends. Fourth, it's the most affordable plane ticket for your tastebuds- another way to explore the world's tastes and cultures. If those reasons aren't good enough, then I don't know what is! In anycase, I hope people will try this interesting combination out- I promise you, you won't be dissapointed!


Kate / Kajal said...

we call 'em grandma hair !!! just had some for Ramadan , came from lebanon. Oh i just love this , cant even compae them to cotton candy , like you said they are so much silkier and infact gourmet :)))
Nice fall pic too .

pesya said...

is there anywhere in the states that i can find this? or online??

Marianna said...

Hi Pesya- quite frankly online I have no idea since I get all of mine from the M.East...and I'm not sure how much you can trust online sites to buy stuff such as pashmak. Otherwise I can only recommend you look into Middle Eastern / Persian / Turkish food shops in the U.S... there must be some pashmak in one of their shelves! Hope you find some, best of luck! (I'm in France, wish I had some exact U.S addresses for you!)

Pashmak said...

Hi, I realise that this post regarding pashmak dates more than a year but I though you may be interested to know that it is now available in France at www.pashmak.fr

Online purchasing will be fully functional shortly, in the meantime simply make contact by email.

Shipping throughout Europe and North America is possible.

There exists 9 flavours (vanilla, chocolate, mint, hazelnut, coffee, pistachio, rose, orange blossom and saffron) and an assortment presentation box for sampling numerous flavours.