Found in: Iranian cuisine
Gaz is a sweet that originates from the city of Isfahan, located in the central plateau of Iran . Gaz is derived from the juices and stems of a desert plant called angebin which is a member of the Tamarisk family, native to the Zagros Mountains range located to the west of the city. The plant is associated with manna, a food mentioned in the religious texts of the Abrahamic religions. The juice is combined with other ingredients including pistachio or almond kernels, rosewater and egg white.
Typically, Gaz nougats are not individually wrapped, rather they are packed together in a box and dusted with flour to keep the pieces from sticking to one another. They may be cut into bite-sized pieces, but are more often sold in larger sizes.
How It's Made
Traditionally, the juice and stems were collected from the mountains and brought into town where it was put into copper vessels. The raw mixture was then beaten until it reached the desired consistency and fashioned by hand into the desired shape. This process is still carried out in modern day Isfahan.