Silver berry / Russian Olive

Ark of taste
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Sanjed (سنجد)

Sanjed or Silver berry / Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia L.) is native tree of Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia, Pakistan, and Turkey. Its height reaches up to 4m with a silvery stem. The leaves are elongated, almost oval, slightly thick, rough, matte, silvery green with short petioles. The colour of the back of the leaves is paler than the colour of the surface. The flowers are small and yellow, slightly elongated, and almost triangular, with their edges slightly turned outward. The fruit is oval, small, and almost the size of an olive. The thin skin of the fruit is dark orange. Its flesh has a cream colour, is soft, and has a slightly sweet taste. The kernel of the fruit is elongated, oval and has two pointed ends. It flowers in May, fruits appear in late summer, and is harvested in October.
The fruits consist of flavonoid compounds, polysaccharides, sitosterol, terpenoids, coumarins, phenol carboxylic acids, amino acids, saponins, carotenoids, vitamins (A, B, C, and E) and tannins. Local communities use it as a fresh fruit but mostly use it after becoming dry because of sweeter taste. Traditionally it is used as a stomach booster, liver tonic, anti-jaundice, treatment of spasms, and gas reliever.
According to Persian culture, the Sanjed fruit is a very important part of HAFTSEN in the Nowruz celebration and is the symbol of wisdom and birth. It also nurtures human emotional powers, and some are believing this fruit is a symbol of the love of people to each other.
Due to climate change, drought, lack of awareness and market unavailability, most producers prefer to substitute it with other plant like pistachio and hazelnut, but still, some of local farmer willing to produce and preserve it.

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Production area:Khorasan, Kurdistan , and Bakhtiyari mountains

Other info


Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Nominated by:Sara Bayat and Aidin Shahinfar (DAMAVAND Convivium), Parvin Naraghi