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To: AdmSmith; nuconvert; Persia; RaceBannon; yonif; downer911; Eala; dixiechick2000
Store offers taste of Middle East

“Look at these raisins. The quality is incredibly different than in a supermarket,” said Rosenfeld, as his wife, who is from the former Russian republic of Georgia, searched for Oriental dates. “This is a very good store. We walk a good distance to come here.”

Rosenfeld said he and his wife love to come to the gourmet food store at 97-22 Queens Blvd. for the imported nuts, dates, dried fruits and other goods that no other stores in the area carry.

“Eat a Turkish pistachio and you’ll never eat a California pistachio again,” Rosenfeld said. “The taste difference is unbelievable.”

The store’s owner, Rahm Mizrahi, helped serve a continuous stream of customers on a busy weekday last week with nuts, bulk dark chocolate, white pearl Bulgarian Kashkaval cheese, Israeli dates, dried cranberries, fresh halvah sweets and gol gavzaban, a dried purple flower from Iran used to make tea that can be used as an aphrodisiac.

“Everybody has a special ingredient that they use for cooking,” Mizrahi, 43, said. “If we don’t have it in our store, we can get it for them.”

Originally from Iran, Mizrahi, who speaks Farsi, Hebrew and English, came to this country with his brother in 1979 when he was 18 years old. He studied electrical engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and later worked as an engineer while his brother opened up Sunflower International Gourmet Foods, a specialty store that catered to people from Israel, Iran and all over the Middle East.

In 1996, Mizrahi moved to the city to help out with his brother’s small business. Two years later, he took over the Rego Park store completely, while his brother opened up another Sunflower International Gourmet Foods store in Brooklyn.

In addition to selling fruits, nuts, cheeses and sweets, the store carries an extensive back section of spices used in Persian, Indian and Israeli dishes.

“This is used in almost every food in Iran,” said Mizrahi, holding up a bag filled with dried lemons. “We use this in all soups and all stews, in goumeh sabzi, a mixed vegetable stew that smells so nice, people say they named the word ‘gourmet’ after it.”

The dried lemon is also available in powder form, near the store’s bags of fennelgreek, whole sumac, whole mahlop, tarragon, esphard, esparzeh and khaksher.

One of the most expensive items in the store is saffron, a red spice that costs $25 per ounce from Spain and $35 per ounce from Iran.

“Saffron is more expensive than gold,” said Mizrahi, holding up a small black box containing the spice. “You use just a little bit of it in cooking.”

Another ingredient that is popular in Iranian dishes is pomegranate paste, which is used in fesingham, an Iranian stew that contains walnuts and chicken, Mizrahi said.

“I find the store to have merchandise I couldn’t find where I live, and the owners are very nice,” said Arthur Laifer of Far Rockaway who has been coming to the store for more than two decades. “Like this whole section of pickled foods, you couldn’t find where I live.”

For the Jewish New Year known as Rosh Hashanah, Mizrahi’s brother’s store in Brooklyn is preparing a special jam made with squash for some Syrian customers. The store often takes special orders for holidays such as Rosh Hashanah and Christmas as well as Persian holidays, Mizrahi said.

The store is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to sundown on Friday. It is closed Saturdays. Special orders can be placed at 718-275-3800.

7 posted on 09/20/2003 1:22:36 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran: Japan Lost Exclusive Rights To Oilfield - Report
Fri Sep 19, 3:42 PM ET

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Japanese oil companies lost their exclusive rights to develop Iran's Azadegan oilfield as they failed to sign an agreement on time, Iran's oil minister was quoted Friday as saying.

The BBC Monitoring service quoted Bijan Namdar Zangeneh as making the comment to the Fars News Agency in Tehran.

The issue has surfaced in recent days after a Japanese consortium of Inpex Corp., Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. and Tomen Corp. didn't sign a development agreement by the June 30 deadline.

The U.S. had asked Japan to delay signing the contract due to concerns over Iran's nuclear activities.

Iran reportedly has selected at least three companies in Europe and China to take part in the bidding for development of Azadegan, one of the world's biggest reserves. Total of France, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Royal Dutch/Shell Group reportedly have been invited to bid.

"The timeframe in which Japan enjoyed exclusive rights to developing the Azadegan oilfield has expired for some time now, particulary since they failed to sign the contract in the time given to them."

He said, "the Iranian National Oil Co. has entered negotiations with international companies to develop the Azadegan oilfield. But, we have not reached any conclusive results yet."

Commenting on reports that Indonesia would be given an oilfield project, Zanganeh said: "Indonesia had asked to develop an oilfield, but it is not true that it will be given the project without its participation in bidding."
8 posted on 09/20/2003 1:34:34 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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