In Qom province and more so in its rural areas handicrafts play an important part. Even though today it is to a lesser degree, but is still a means of earning a livelihood. The most important of these handicrafts are: carpets, brick and ceramic work, latticed work, a special type of sweet known as Sohan, rosaries, vessels of stone and gypsum, decorative articles, porcelain, silk carpets and fruits like pomegranate and fig.
Sohan is a traditional Persian saffron brittle confectionery (one kind of Halva). Its ingredients consist of wheat sprout, flour, egg yolks, rose water, sugar, butter or vegetable oil, saffron, cardamom, and slices of almond and pistachio. Sohan is crunchy and rich in flavor.
The first recipe of Sohan belongs to Ibrahim Shamaee who presented his recipe as a gift to a representative of the Shah; namely, the chief of Qajar tribe who had come to open an important religious shrine in Qom. Ibrahim added sugar to halva and a representative of the Shah, who ate the sugar enhanced halva ate it after his lunch and liked its taste. He spoke about a confectionery that it cut me like a rasp (file) that cuts iron while I digested my lunch! That is why it’s namedSohan. In this way, Sohan has been produced and distributed. At first it was a luxury confectionery for kings and rich people.