Zereshk - Barberries
Zereshk is the Persian name for the dried fruit of barberry which is widely cultivated in Iran. Iran is the largest producer of zereshk. It is cultivated on the same land as saffron and is harvested at the same time. The thorny shrubs make harvesting difficult.
The berries are rich in vitamin C, with a sharp flavour. They taste like tangy lemony currants and are often used in Middle Eastern and European rice pilaf recipes.
Ideally you need to soak them for 10 minutes in cold water, and drain before use. They make a really interesting addition to a stuffing, or a zingy ingredient in jewelled rice, or can be added to buttered couscous.