“ZIBA” MEANS BEAUTIFUL! DRIED FRUITS AND NUTS FROM AFGHANISTAN
I would like to introduce you to some dry fruit products:ZIBA, which I think are lovely and merit your attention. “ZIBA” means “beautiful” in Dari and Farsi, languages spoken in Central Asia. The products come from Afghanistan, which is much in the news and on our minds these days. They are several nuts and a lovely raisin-- a “green” raisin, it comes from an authocthonous grape variety air dried in a very special way. Some of the products are from the wild, foraged from wild growing plants, and others from carefully harvested, cultivated plants that have been cultivated in the same ways over centuries. The new, up-to-date part is how they are selected, treated and packaged. Everything is done in a modern, HACCP controlled plant in Kabul, Afghanistan. I just hope that the plant can be sustained under the new regime.
ZIBA is owned by several Afghanis with an American in tow. It was founded in 2015, under different circumstances and currently has product in the U.S. allowing Ziba to sell product in our market. The female work force may give the new regime fits, but it has been the mainstay of ZIBA.
In the 1970s, Afghanistan was a global leader in the production and export of dried fruit and nuts. Subsequent years and conflict have dramatically changed the situation. The four partners--Afghani and American--created a fully certified processing facility in Kabul to sort, clean, grade, and pack these dried fruit products for the international market. They began their US business in 2018. The product is available in our country now. I hope that by recognizing their high quality our sales will help create more business for this innovative company working in such apparently dreadful circumstances.
ZIBA KISHMISH RAISINS 1oz. pouch. Kishmish means “raisin” but of a special sort in Afghani. (There is a grape variety in Turkey with this name, but not this raisin.) The Kishmish name signifies an elongated shaped, seedless, yellowish green raisin from the Shungulkani variety, dried in very special conditions, in ventilated brick “houses,” called “kishmish khana.” The term “kishmish” is used only for this type of raisin. The variety is a relative of the other famous “apirene” variety which we know as Thompson Seedless or formerly, Sultanina, but this berry shape is much more elongated. Drying in the “khana” takes about 30 days, without sunlight, the fruit retains its yellowish-green color and a sweet-tart flavor of the ripe fresh grape. Eaten as they are, they are wonderful. Put into baked goods, they would be a revelation in both flavor and texture. With tea, they are perfect.