Barberry fruit is a tart red variation of the berry family, with wonderful benefits and an extraordinary sour yet delightful taste. The Persian name of this magnificent fruit, is Zereshk.
Scientifically belonging to Berberidaceae family, the plant has many variations that only a few are edible. Berberis vulgaris, for instance, is a European kind that is seldom used in some European dishes.
The bush like plant can grow almost everywhere but it’s local to parts of the Europe, east of Iran and some regions in China predominantly. Barberry plant, with sharp spines on the branches can have a height from 3 to 5 meters when fully grown.
Despite the variety, the best type is cultivated in Khorasan region making Iran the biggest producer and exporter of barberry. The barberry needs to be processed, in order to remove the thorns and leaves and to be dried. It’s packed in cartons and cloth bags in the final stage and should be stored in a relatively cool place, not to lose the color and taste.
Organic Zereshk has 2 sorts, Dane Aanari and Pofaki (Puffy). Dane Anari is harvested firstly and the puffy ones need to be on the branch a little longer. The differences between this 2 type, is mainly the shape which the puffy version is bigger in size and has a puffy like shape, while the Dane Anari is smaller.