Khâtamkâri is the Persian art of marquetry. Fine pieces of wood, bone, and metal are inlaid to create all kinds of decorative objects including jewelry boxes, picture frames, backgammon boards, and others. While some are pure khâtamkâri, others have miniatures painted on the top, another typical form of Iranian art. These make great gifts for friends although you’ll probably want one for yourself, too.
As Iran souvenirs, you should definitely consider some Persian sweets as they are unique and delicious.
By far my favourite Iranian sweets are the pistachio baklava made in Yazd. The best baklava in Yazd can be found at Haj Khalife Halirahbar shop in central Amir Chakhmaq Square (Meidan-e Amir Chaqmaq). Expect a long queue, because there always is, but trust me, totally worth your time.
Gaz is the nougat Persian style traditionally from Isfahan, a sweet mixed with chopped pistachios and almonds. Much sugar-based, I confess I’m not crazy about it.
Sohan is another type of Iranian confectionery, a Persian-style toffee with chopped walnuts and pistachios mixed in it. The city of Qom is famous for its sohan as it’s traditionally from there and considered the best in Iran. There are many different types such as sohan gol, sesame sohan, honey (sohan hasali), walnut, ginger or cinnamon sohan. Sohan gol is the original and my favorite.
The confectionery you will find in Tabriz is pretty sweet and nuts based such as aris, not much my taste, while I loved the pastries in Gilan and Kermanshah as they were not too sweet. Some of the pastries in Kermanshah were made with dates paste, absolutely heavenly.
Halva zard and saffron ice cream can’t be shipped or carried in your luggage, but are definitely to try as they are delicious.