Page last updated at 13:31 GMT, Friday, 17 October 2008 14:31 UK

Iran makes huge ostrich sandwich

By Jon Leyne
BBC News, Tehran


The ostrich meat is put in the sandwich

Cooks in Iran have tried to assemble the world's largest ostrich sandwich at a food festival in Tehran, as part of a bid to promote healthy eating.

The organisers want to promote Iran's fledgling ostrich farming business.

About 1,500 cooks used 1,000kg (2,200lbs) of ostrich meat to make the 1,500m (4,920ft) long sandwich.

The organisers hope those world-beating dimensions will be enough to earn a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest ostrich sandwich ever.

It took two days to prepare the sandwich, and a huge measuring tape ran the length of the table on which it was sitting.

The sandwich drew crowds of onlookers, and some reports said people rushed forward to eat it before it could be measured for the record.

But the event's organisers said there was video footage of the sandwich which would be sent to Guinness officials.

Iranians are deeply proud of their national cuisine, which includes such dishes as fesenjan - a meat stew with a tangy sauce made of pomegranate juice and ground walnuts, as well as the ubiquitous kebab.

But it can be quite a meaty, fatty diet.

Ostrich farmers point out that the flesh of their eccentric bird has half as much fat as chicken, lots of iron, and very little cholesterol - as well as being extremely tasty.

Here is a selection of your comments:

By far the best Iranian dish is fesenjan; however, ghorma sabzi comes in as a close second and is made with lemons, parsley, meat, served over rice. Third I would have to say is Koofteh which is a type of distinct Iranian Meatball. Seriously, the best food to eat is Iranian Food.
Darius, Buffalo, NY

World record sandwich? That does not look like one sandwich to me, but more like 3000 half metre sandwiches laid next to each other. The secret of making a top quality sandwich is in keeping it all in when you put it all together, this would require immense coordinated teamwork. I would hope that the people at Guinness will agree with me that they are cheating, and that the current ostrich sandwich record (length info unavailable on Guinness website) will stand. Looks tasty though.
Ben B, London, UK

I have lived in Iran for the last four years, I use ostrich meat in my cooking. The meat quality is excellent, no fat and I use it for steak (Argentinian style). I am now waiting for the smoked ostrich to appear on the market, which I am will told will be in a month. I member of the Latin American Ladies in Tehran and we have a stand to show our Latin dishes. The festival is fantastic and the organization very good.
Ana Maria Siri, Tehran Iran

I don't want to be picky...but isn't that lots of sandwiches placed end to end? Not the largest sandwich? Still, it sure sounds delicious.
Andrew Hewitt, Nottinghamshire

I assume that it is impossible to bake bread that is 1500m long so I guess the sandwich is made up of smaller pieces of bread.... can it really then claim to be one long sandwich?
John, London

How nice to hear a human story from Iran, rather than the usual ones. Thank you. (Just had a big rice and chicken dish for lunch immediately followed by the afternoon nap. ;-) )
Kaveh Bazargan, Mashhad, Iran

What a waste of food, I bet no one will even eat it after. I wonder how many ostriches would need to be used?
Jenna, UK

I farm ostriches here in the UK and end up exporting the vast majority of my produce to Europe because there is a lack of demand here at home. When will the UK market realise that ostrich meat is the most nutritious and tasty meat known to man? And let's not forget, massive eggs!
Mike Townsend, Nottingham, England

Iranian food is excellent - particularly the walnut stew fesenjan, their tangy wild herb salads and their cakes. However, they serve their staple food of rice covered in butter - which is tasty but very fatty - so if they want to improve their health they might think about starting there.
Jeremy Hodge, Aylesbury, UK

Given the usual diet of us Persians, which involves lots of rice and meat, I would say this is a good step forward. The national dish, Chelo-Kabab, made with ostrich meat could pave way for a new era of healthy Persian cuisine. That stated, Persian food is still healthier than western food, owing to the vast amount of vegetable used with the food.
Tom Keya, London, England

That sounds wonderful! Love ostrich meat - tastes great and promotes the truth that game is good for you. Fesenjan superb stuff, as is most Iranian cuisine - needs to be more known over here - might help relations generally?
Kerie, United Kingdom

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