#80: Azerbaijan

What’s the haps, food friends!

Here we have had birthday fun in Brovskyland. For me, I love birthdays, as long as they are not my own. I love celebrating such a unique thing– it’s not a promotion, holiday or happening– birthdays just are. They’re a time to reflect on what that individual means to you and what your life could and would be like if they hadn’t been born. Birthdays are humbling human moments. I love that.

I also just love giving presents. Letting someone know you care enough about them to mindfully find something that both is meaningful to them and thoughtful. It’s like giving someone a really good hug and letting them know you notice all those uniquely-you traits.

THE DINNER: We picked Azerbaijan for our nation in food this week. I learned some pretty interesting things about this Middle Eastern nation this go around, while doing my weekly research:

  • Out of 11 climate zones known in the world, this nation has nine!
  • It is famous for an abundance of vegetables/greens used seasonally in the dishes, not to mention fresh herbs galore!
  • Black tea is the national beverage! (and is drunk after food is eaten so that it gets to have the center attentions of the taste buds)
  • SAFFRON!
  • Plov is one of the most widespread dishes in Azerbaijan, with more than 40 different recipes. What is Plov, you ask?!! Azerbaijani plov consists of three components on separate platters: rice (warm, never hot),  fried meat or fish, and herbs

We settled on kələm salati which is cabbage salad! This was appropriate because in Azerbaijan salads based on white cabbage are enjoyed all year round, but are especially popular in winter…which we happen to be in the dead of currently state side. Not to mention, as a vegetarian, I’m all about the salad variations, homie!

kələm salati Recipe: http://news.az/recipes/29242

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OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:

Ease of prep and cooking: HALF STAR out of five this meal!
As far as salads go, there’s not a whole hell of a lot that will make these extreme in the difficulty avenue. I mean, it’s a salad. This was no exception. The recipe was clear and assembly was a snap!

Best dish of all time scale: FOUR STARS out of five for Meal!!
I’m not going to lie… I’m one tough salad critic. It’s because I eat a lot of salads: hot, cold, noodle, rice, quinoa, farro– you name it! So I won’t sugar coat it. The  kələm salati started out strong with it’s main ingredient being cabbage. This is one of the most delicious and under utilized leafy green in American cooking to my opinion. It’s not only nutrient rich, it’s so versatile! You can steam, fry or have it raw and it’s so delicious. Red, nappa, white, savoy, green (so many choices!). WE loved this one, so don’t let the low star count fool you. It was delicious, just not a show stopper. We already plan on adding some onion or salad shrimp and putting this one in place of coleslaw on our weekly summer menu. It’s really yummy.

To round off our even number on the next country we will be taking a culinary vacation to Estonia for #81!!

Catch you later, Gators!
– L & K

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