While legumes and vegetables are used abundantly in Persian cuisine, fruits are what give many dishes their unique quality. According to Batmanglij, "Iranians love the idea of mixing fruit and meat," noting that sweet-and-sour or sweet-and-savory dishes date back to the sixth century in Iran. The country is rich in fruit, including limoo omani, or dried limes, which have a "very interesting earthy flavor that you cannot find in any other sour agent," says Batmanglij. Quince, sour plums and cherries, and a variety of berries, such as barberries, are used prominently throughout Iran. Many fruits, such as dates, grapes, and pomegranates, are cooked into a thick, sweet-and-sour molasses used for cooking. "Iranian cooking is often divided into two categories: cold and hot," says Batmanglij. "Lamb is considered a 'hot' meat, and when you add fruit, you create a balance that works very well."