Welcome to Kashan, Iran. This picturesque city in the heart of Iran is famous for its rich history, stunning culture, and vibrant rose-infused foods and drinks. Located in the Isfahan province, Kashan offers a unique blend of traditional and modern elements. It’s a heartwarming city, filled with kind and friendly people and a beautiful spirit.
The city is renowned for its exquisite Persian gardens and remarkable historical sites, including Fin Bathhouse and the Tabatabaei House. showcasing the city’s architectural brilliance. With its warm and welcoming atmosphere, Kashan provides visitors with an authentic Iranian experience, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking to delve into the country’s cultural heritage.
As my buddy Mr. Taster and our friends from Kootook Travel showed me around, I was captivated by the intoxicating scent of roses. Known for its rose water production, Kashan celebrates this fragrant flower every year with the Rose Water Festival, a vibrant event that showcases local traditions and customs.
Whether you’re a foodie, a history buff, or simply seeking a serene retreat, Kashan has something to offer everyone. So pack your bags, and let’s explore the fascinating wonders of Kashan, Iran.
To get a taste of true Kashani cuisine, Mr. Taster took me to Mirrors Hall, located in an 18th-century mud hotel in Kashan, Iran. It gets its name from its mirrored ceiling and hosts ceremonies and special rituals. Inside, Talar Ayeneh Restaurant is absolutely gorgeous and offers many Kashani favorites.
I loved our refreshments, which included cucumber water and a drink made from chia seeds called tokhm-e sharbati. But our starter, a garlic yogurt called mast-o musir, was a major highlight!
The mast-o musir contains rose and mint, which balance the tanginess with a floral and herbal flavor. You eat it with crispy flatbread, which Mr. Taster hand fed to me!
But the stars of the show were the entrees, which included a crispy rice dish called tahdig, ghormeh sabzi (beans with lamb), and Persian meatballs called koofteh. They were amazing on their own, but mixing them together with the tahdig blew me away!
The mix of fluffy rice, crispy rice, dense meatballs, tender lamb, and kidney beans was downright heavenly. If you want, you can also add a yogurt dish containing cucumber, mint, raisins, and rose petals. It adds a light, refreshing quality that balances out the heavy meats!
When exploring any new city, one of my favorite things to do is visiting and supporting local businesses. A great way to support local business owners and walk away with a fun keepsake is by visiting shops like Ganjineh Antique Shop in Kashan, Iran.
Located not far from Mirrors Hall, it’s a haven for those who love old-time knick-knacks. There, you can find antique bowls, old pottery, and even vintage telephones and televisions. Their ceramics are equally beautiful and delicate, so take care. They make a great gift for anyone who collects vintage antiques!
If you’ve never tried rose water in your life, you’re missing out. A staple throughout the Middle East, this refreshing and floral drink is made by steam-distilling rose petals. I highly recommend seeing the entire process at a local rose water factory!
There, you can see how they heat the rose petals with water. You can also see where the resulting vapor travels and ultimately creates the rose water. The entire process takes about eight hours. After you’ve seen how it’s made, I suggest trying it—it’s bright, floral, and very refreshing, especially in the heat!
I visited two rose water factories in Kashan, Iran. At the first, my friends buried me in a mountain of fragrant rose petals! I also got to add fresh rose petals to the vat. At the second, I got to visit their incredible rose garden!
Water isn’t the only thing infused with rose flavor in Kashan, Iran. It’s also a popular ingredient in dishes, including sweets. At the first of the two rose factories I visited, I met some bakers who created a cake called the 4 Nut Concoction. It’s a colorful, four-layered confection containing saffron, rose, sesame, coconut, pistachios, and almonds.
There are other cakes available as well, which I got to sample. They were a textural explosion in my mouth, with the dense, crumbly cake and the crunchy nuts. The mix of earthy sesame seeds and sugary dates was the perfect mix of savory and sweet. And the rose added the floral flavor I love! Definitely try them if you have a sweet tooth!
Just outside of Kashan, Iran, I had the pleasure of visiting a massive rose garden. If you want to see the roses at their most impressive, I suggest visiting during April and early May. Rose season only lasts about four weeks, so the window is short if you want to see them. I visited in late May, so there weren’t many roses left.
But even though the height of rose season had passed, it was still impressive. This particular garden covered 20 hectares, and the entire area smelled of roses. When you visit, you may get to see workers harvesting roses to take to the nearby factory, which is only ten minutes away. Roses are an essential part of Kashani culture, so I recommend visiting both!
If you love rose-flavored products, or if you’ve never tried them, Kashan, Iran is a must-visit. Not only are the people wildly friendly and kind, but it offers some of the country’s most unique food.
Cities like these are why I love to travel. It’s the perfect place to spend a day exploring if you crave culture, new foods, and wonderful people to enjoy them with. Whether you’d rather dine on rose-infused food or enjoy the tranquility of a rose garden, Kashan is for you. Book a trip to Iran to experience the magic of Kashan for yourself!