Azerbaijan was a fun country to cook. After the calorie-laden meals from Australia and Austria (our last two countries), I was looking forward to a lighter cuisine dependent on vegetables, herbs, and lean meats.
The Qutab was an interesting dish to try, but it was my least favorite of the dishes. The Dolma, on the other hand, was one of my favorite things I have EVER cooked, and it will definitely be going in the rotation of regular meals.
If you try any of the meals below, please share them on social media and tag @theforeignfork or hashtag #theforeignfork! Also feel free to leave a comment on the pages with your thoughts.
On the Menu
- Qutab (Savory Crepes Filled with Herbs)
- Mangal Salad (Roasted Vegetable Salad)
- Lavangi with Chicken (Chicken Filled with Walnuts and Prunes)
- Dolma (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
- Tomatoes and Eggs
Fun Facts about Azerbaijan
- Azerbaijan is home of the world’s first known fireplace
- It is one of two countries in the world that begins with but does not end with the letter “a”
- Oily Rocks is the first town to ever be built on stilts. It sits in the middle of the Caspian Sea
- The country sits next to Turkey, Armenia, and Georgia. It is slightly smaller than the state of Maine in the United States
- Some of the country’s biggest exports are fine horses and caviar
Flavors of Azerbaijan
The food of Azerbaijan is significantly healthier than a lot of the other countries that begin with A. For the size of the country, its diversity in climate zones is significant. In fact, Azerbaijan contains 9 out of the 11 climate zones that the world has to offer. This leaves the land very fertile, making the country a perfect place to grow crops. Vegetables are very important in meals, and some favorites in the country include eggplants, tomatoes, onions, beets, cabbages, and cucumbers. Perhaps this is why Azerbaijan produces a large number of centenarians (or people that live to be older than 100 years old).
Herbs also are important for seasoning the foods of Azerbaijan. Some of the most popular herbs are tarragon, parsley, dill, chive, thyme, and green onion. Saffron is a popular spice, especially in a rice dish called plov. Sturgeon fish are popular as a main course, along with mutton, beef, and chicken.
Food Culture and Dining Style
The second course of an Azerbaijani meal is usually a meat heavy dish, and the third course is normally a soup. Tea is very popular in the country, particularly black tea. The tea comes in glasses in the shape of a pear.
Food has high importance in Azerbaijan, and sharing food with another person signifies the creation of a very strong bond. Azerbaijani people take hospitality very seriously. As a guest, turning down servings can be seen as rude. Even if you can’t take another bite, do not turn down an offer for more! Hospitality is very important and as a guest, turning down servings can be seen as rude, even if you’re stuffed.