Toot /To͞ot/ توت

English. Verb. To sound a short blast.

Farsi. Noun. Mullberry, a popular snack in Iran, consumed fresh in summer time and dried throughout the year.

The Story

I grew up watching my mom making yogurt, slowly swirling around the starter in warm milk and leaving it to "sleep" for the next day, tangy, must-have side dish. My grandma made Shoor, a fermented pickle with cauliflower, carrots, garlic, and aromatic herbs that she dried each summer in her backyard. Many families in Iran have their own secret recipes for Torshi Bademjaan (tender eggplant pickle); it is a must when serving main dishes.

Later on when I moved to Canada I had my first Kimchi at a Korean restaurant, on a tiny plate along with other flavourful sides. I still remember the first time I had kombucha years ago in Vancouver: a friend of mine brought some that she brewed to the beach on a hot July afternoon. The fizz and the tang got me hooked.

After I got married my husband and I tried to recreate the flavours that we grew up with in our own kitchen in Vancouver. Then we moved to Mexico. Having lived in Oaxaca, the gastronomical hub of Mexico, our palate expanded even more. The first time we tried Pulque (a fermented mague drink), we felt confused, having never tried a drink with the consistency of runny yogurt but flavoured with fruits. Our Spanish teacher introduced us to Tepache, a fermented pineapple drink with cinnamon. Our small kitchen in Puerto Escondido became a test lab to ferment, to create new flavours and expand our culinary senses.

We recreated the flavours we grew up with in our own kitchen, sometimes giving them a twist for an extra kick. Friends, family and clients who tried these creations liked them and encouraged us to "get out there".

And this is how Toot Kitchen was born.