Sohan is an Iranian traditional brittle toffee from the city of Qom. Although Sohan is produced in some other cities such as Yazd, the most famous Sohan belongs to Qom. Sohan is considered as a kind of halwa that is made of wheat sprout flour in combination with other ingredients such as sugar, oil, cardamom and saffron which is decorated with pistachio and almond kernels. There are different types of Sohan including honey Sohan, sesame Sohan, Sohan halwa, almond Sohan, Sohan Gazi, Sohan Loghmeh, butter Sohan, Sohan Pashmaki (cotton candy) and Dessert Sohan.
There is no precise date regarding the appearance of Sohan, but the name of “Halwa Qomi” is mentioned in some historical sources from the Safavid period onwards. It is believed that the name of Halva was replaced with Sohan during the Qajar period; the reason of such change remained unclear due to the plethora of narrations. Some people believe that when Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar travelled to Qom and he was entertained with Halwa Qomi, he analogized it to a rasp (Sohan is the Persian word meaning rasp or file) which digested the food he had eaten very well. Since then, Halwa Qomi was recognized as Sohan and gradually it became the souvenir of Qom.
The Austrian traveler, Alfons Gabriel, (14th century CE) in his book “Crossing the Iranian Deserts” talked about this brittle confectionery, its production process and distribution in Qom bazaars: “A special confectionery is produced in Qom which sent to the farthest cities of Iran. It is called “Sohan-e Qom” and is made from wheat flour, sugar, goat butter and pistachio. The aroma of this sweet confection is spread throughout the bazaar. The production of Sohan has been descended to the next generations in families in Qom, and today is considered as a main craft of the city. Besides, in some cities and regions of Iran, families make home-made Sohan on special occasions such as celebrations of Nowruz (21st March) and Shab-e Esfandi (20th February) which is held on the eve of first day of Esfand (the final month of the Solar Hijri calendar,).