Барбарис, Barberry, Family Berberidaceae

At a party recently guests appreciating the plov (плов, pilaf) led to a discussion of how Uzbek plov is superior to our Kazakh plov—Kazakhs are comfortable acknowledging this fact because, you know, Kazakhs have superior potassium.  Well, apparently one optional ingredient in Uzbek plov is барбарис. Russians at the party recognized the name of this berry, but no one knew the English translation.

2006-10-22Berberis03
Barberries, photo by Wildfeuer on Wikimedia Commons

I won't discuss the trouble I got into because of trying to research this subject on Aida's iPhone while at a party—props to all the proud zanudas out there.  It turns out the reason I wasn't able to find out more was that I lacked a Cyrillic input method.  I was trying to search for the transliterated word "barbaris."  A search for "барбарис" this morning quickly gave me the Russian Wikipedia entry for барбарис, which gave me the latin name of the family, berberidaceae, which led me to the English language Wikipedia article for berberis.  It sounds like the most common common name is barberry.  It grows all over the world but is particularly important in Iran.
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