The culinary traditions of Iran reach back to the time of the ancient Greeks, when Persia was the most powerful civilization in the world. Through time, Persian cuisine has grown and influenced the culinary traditions of the Middle East, Central Asia and India. Iranian cooking is renowned for its elaborate rice dishes, nourishing soups and hearty stews. Iranians delicately flavor their food with herbs, spices and dried fruits. A variety of naan-like breads supplement rice. Pomegranates and dates provide a sweet finish to meals.