Caucasus Adventures Redux

I’ve recently posted the last installment of my Azerbaijan Adventures, so it’s time to say farewell to the Caucasus (for the time being, at least), and look back at all I have distilled over the past three years. Like a goat jumping over the snowy peaks of the Caucasus, I have traveled through Georgia, Armenia, […]

read

Kutab, Azerbaijani Stuffed Flatbread

Kutabs are among the most popular Azeri dishes, together with plov, dolma, and of course kebabs (kebabs being a distant first: virtually the only meal you’ll ever eat in a restaurant outside of Baku). A kutab — not to be confused with kutap — is essentially a lavash filled with savory stuffing while still raw, then folded […]

read

Shashlyk Five Fingers

I’ve already talked about Stalik Khankishiev a few times, most recently here. In this video, Our Stalik demonstrates an interesting idea. Summer’s coming to an end, you’ve braved the heat wave and the thunderstorms to make kebabs more times than you care to remember — seriously, who thought summer was the best season for grilling? Your ungrateful […]

read

Happy Novruz!

Wishing you all a happy Novruz! I am including some pictures of President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva taking part in the festivities in Baku, eating plov (above) or drinking tea with the traditional sweets (below). I realize that Food Perestroika’s repertoire of Azeri cuisine is somewhat limited at the moment (the most notable […]

read

Pepper Dolma

It may be hard to imagine when you’re eating lamb kebab after lamb kebab in Azerbaijan, but there are a lot more dishes in the national culinary repertoire.  In Baku, you can reasonably expect to find excellent meat dolma, which are vegetables (peppers, tomatoes, zucchinis or onions) stuffed with a mixture of rice and ground […]

read

Lavash, Armenian Flatbread

Lavash is a large flatbread popular in both Armenia and Azerbaijan, where it’s commonly used to wrap food like kebabs. The etymology of the word is unclear, and various scholars alternately mention an Armenian, Turkic or Persian origin. The picture above shows the lavash stacks at the market in Yerevan. These breads are quite large, but […]

read

Armenian Adventures, Part 5

The last part of our Armenian Adventures takes us to Nagorno-Karabakh, a de facto independent but unrecognized state within Azerbaijan (I’m sticking to the Wikipedia entry to avoid debates). Before heading to Karabakh, we made one last stop at the Goris market, where the usual Armenian produce (peppers, eggplant, zucchini, beans, radishes, tomatoes, watermelon and apricots) […]

read