Varied and very rich cuisine
As the main dishes, Azerbaijani cuisine has Plov with saffron aroma, coal-roasted kebabs, freshly-caught fish, sweet fruit and honey for dessert. The cuisine of Azerbaijan is full of flavours and surprises and is a vital part of the country and its culture. The flavours and ingredients used reflect the ingredients grown or available in Azerbaijan, although the commercial exchanges have brought new flavours from the entire world. Even the cooking techniques reflect the lifestyle and local traditions, and the names of the Azerbaijani dishes derive from the terms used in Azerbaijan.
Hospitality is an important part of the Azerbaijani culture, and the cuisine is not an exception. Guests are treated to an abundance of dishes, and leaving food on the plate can be considered rude, even if you are already full. Food holds sacred place and sharing your food, even bread with another person creates a strong bond. Food culture is very rich. For example, the Dolma (stuffed grape leaves) and its central place in the Azerbaijani culture and among families have been recognized by the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Many dishes are delicious and healthy, which is why Azerbaijan is a country of centenarians. Beef and mutton are common, the same as poultry, fish, fruit and vegetables. The spices include dill, coriander, mint, chive and basil. They can be found in many of dishes, giving them rich and full flavours. The result is a wide variety of dishes that are hearty and nutritious, full of familiar and unusual flavours.
But wait, that’s not all - there are endless foods to try in Azerbaijan. If you would like a hearty soup (like Piti) or a quick snack (like Kutab) or something to satisfy a sweet tooth (Pakhlava), you will find more to explore. The more you travel to Azerbaijan, the more you will discover, as every region (and every cook) has their own recipes that bring new flavours and delights