Persian Gaz is the ancient Iranian kind of chewy candy that originates in Isfahan, one of those ancient, big, central cities in Iran. Gaz is a mixture of sugar, almond, albumen (egg white), pistachio, cardamom, and rose water.
Isfahan’s Gaz is the most popular kind of Gaz. It’s been more than about 450 years that Gaz has been made in Isfahan. More than that Gaz is made in Hamadan, Shahr e Kord, Kerman, Fars, and Yazd.
Manna that sweet food was sent from heaven to the Israelites, is another name for Persian Gaz. The name of Persian Gaz comes from gaz-angebin that is known as the sap of a special tree grown in the Zagros Mountains.
It may be interesting to know that Gaz is not the sap of gaz-angebin tree. BUT, it is the exudate of a tiny insect that lives its entire life on the gaz-angebin tree and eats its leaves. When eating the leaves the female insect produces a milky, sticky, sweet and thick sap getting dried when facing the air.
It’s good to know that there’s three kinds of insects which make angebin (glucose). First, those beautiful kind insects which give us “honey”, the bees. Second, are tiny fly-size insects named “Gaz Fly” and “Van Fly”. Which produce the “Gaz-angebin” and “Van-angebin”.
The harvesters then shake the bushes to separate the dried Gaz.
In the last days of summer (August to mid-October) Gaz is ready to be harvested. Sometimes the act of harvesting is repeated several times in a year. But be sure that the quality will get reduced time by time.
So now is the time for confectioners to make Persian Gaz like that delicious popular candy. They first boil those dried sap to make them liquid again. Then it’s strained. Yes! You’re right it’s a really difficult process. That’s why Persian Gaz is expensive.
At the end, the pistachio and some other nuts will be added and cut to round or square pieces.
Here’s your sweet luxurious Persian sweet, Gaz.