Azerbaijani cuisine (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan mətbəxi) refers to the cooking styles and dishes of Azerbaijan. Many foods that are indigenous to the country can now[vague] be seen in the cuisines of other neighboring cultures. For the people of Azerbaijan, food is an integral part of their culture and is deeply rooted in the history, traditions, and values.
Out of 11 climate zones known in the world, the Azerbaijani climate has nine. This contributes to the fertility of the land, which in turn results in the richness of the cuisine.
History and features of Azerbaijan national cuisine
Azerbaijan’s national cuisine is closer to Eastern cuisine due to the taste and preparation of the dishes, as well as adding dark spice and flavor additives. Contemporary Azerbaijan cuisine retains traditional methods of preparation of dishes while incorporating modern cooking requirements and preparations.
Azerbaijani dishes have traditionally been cooked with copper utensils in copper cookware. Copper bowls and plates are still commonly used as serving dishes.
Azerbaijani cuisine is full of different types of greens and vegetables such as aubergine, tomato, sweet pepper, spinach, cabbage, onion, sorrel, beet, radish, cucumber, green beans. Rice and products made from flour are widely used in the national cuisine. It is famous for vegetables and greens used seasonally in the dishes. Fresh herbs, including mint, coriander, dill, basil, parsley, tarragon, leek, chive, thyme, marjoram, green onion, and watercress are trendy and often accompany main dishes. The majority of national dishes are prepared for lamb, beef and poultry meat. Dishes prepared for minced meat are more prevalent. The sea, lakes and rivers of the Republic of Azerbaijan are abundant with different fish species, particularly white sturgeon. Sturgeon fish is widely used in the preparation of national dishes. The Caspian Sea is home to many edible species of fish, including the sturgeon, Caspian salmon, kutum, sardines, grey mullet, and others. Black caviar from the Caspian Sea is one of Azerbaijan’s best-known delicacies well sought after in other parts of the world, including former Soviet countries.
One of the most reputed dishes of Azerbaijani cuisine is plov from saffron-covered rice, served with various herbs and greens, a combination totally distinct from those found in Uzbek plovs. Azerbaijani cuisine includes more than 40 different plov recipes. Other second courses include a wide variety of kebabs and shashlik, including lamb, beef, chicken, duck and fish (baliq) kebabs. Sturgeon, a common fish, is normally skewered and grilled as a shashlik, being served with a tart pomegranate sauce called narsharab. Dried fruits and walnuts are used in many dishes. The traditional condiments are salt, black pepper, sumac, and especially saffron, which is grown domestically on the Absheron Peninsula. The third course includes soups in which the types of this dish are more than 30 in Azerbaijan national cuisine. These include kufta bozbash, piti prepared of meat and dovga, ovdukh, dogramach, bolva prepared of greens and yogurt. Some soups are served in national or interesting and unusually-shaped bowls.
Black tea is the national beverage and is drunk after food is eaten. It is also offered to guests as a gesture of welcome, often accompanied by fruit preserves