Hamed Saber @ Flickr
The 13-day Persian new year's celebration kicked off last night as Iranians the world over prepared for Nouruz, which officially started at 7:44 AM EST today. A traditional Nouruz table is set with seven items that begin with the letter 'S': sabzeh (wheat, barley or lentils to symbolize rebirth), samanu (wheat germ pudding for prosperity), senjed (dried oleaster tree fruit for love), sîr (garlic for health), sîb (apples for beauty), sumac berries (for the color of sunrise), and serkeh (vinegar to symbolize age and patience). The fifth annual Persian Parade will be held in Midtown on March 29.
We toasted Nouruz at Tailor last night with Chef Hoss Zaré, who was visiting from San Francisco to cook for the James Beard House Nouruz party held on Wednesday, and his drinks director, Reza Esmaili. Zaré said he was proud of the sekanjabin he'd made for the James Beard party, a minted vinegar syrup enjoyed over ice in his native Iran. Esmaili used the syrup to make Minted Memory cocktails, incorporating gin, Pimm's and lemon. He named the cocktail for the flavors of sekanjabin, which he says are "minted into the memories of Persians."