Often viewed as the world’s number one bogeyman state (especially now a certain Mr. Donald Trump is in the White House), there’s actually much, much more to Iran than crowds of angry people burning US and British flags in the town squares of downtown Tehran. The country, which until 1979 was known as Persia, is an incredibly ancient one, with many customs and traditions unfamiliar to us in the West. Here are twenty fascinating facts about the Islamic Republic of Iran that you might not know.

The Food Is To Die For

Iranian food is a feast for both the eyes and the palate. Containing influences from Greece and India, the food is aromatic, often spicy and contains plenty of fresh ingredients such as fresh fruit and vegetables. Most meat served in Iran is lamb, mutton and chicken, usually accompanied by fragrant rice and delicious unleavened bread. As far as drink is concerned, this alcohol-free country’s favorite tipple is black tea.