The ancient Iranians thought that rice was brought to Iran from India by Borzuya, the famous Persian physician. According to historical sources, rice cultivation was popularized in Iran from the Sassanid period on and in the modern era it became a staple of the main Iranian dishes. In the Qajar period, Edward Pollack wrote: “Iranians cannot even imagine heaven without rice,” according to Fars News Agency.
An example of homegrown rice in Iran is that of Hashemi, cultivated for the first time around four decades ago by Yusef Hashemizadeh, and introduced to Iranians.
Yousef was a farmer in Gilan, who noticed some strange rice clusters in 1985 in his field. These clusters differed from other rice clusters he knew and was accustomed to. They were taller than the other and had a narrower stem. He collected these special clusters and put them away until the following year. Then, at the beginning of spring, he got a separate treasury for them. He harvested them separately and carefully for several years. In the fifth and sixth year, the handful of clusters that he found at the beginning culminated in nearly a metric ton of rice.
He took these rice paddies to the rice threshing floor of Chapar Khaneh Village. When the manager of the factory saw the rice, he instantly realized that he was dealing with a different sort of rice.
He asked Yusuf Hashemizadeh the name of his rice. Yusef replied that he has not come up with a name yet.
The manager named it Hashemi right then and there.