Even though the food of Azerbaijan may seem similar Russia, Azeri cooking has a flavor all its own. That’s because Azerbaijan has several diverse climates. These different climates allow for many different plants and animals to grow and thrive.
Pomegranates are a great example of this! While they are rare in other areas of the world, they are a common fruit in Azerbaijan. Pomegranates grow in the country’s tropical regions. Their taste is tangy but sweet, and their seeds give a crunchy texture to every dish.
Fresh herbs are also common in Azeri cooking. You’ll find mint, dill, basil, parsley, and tarragon in many Azeri lamb and seafood dishes.
These herbs are often used to make kebabs. Kebabs are a very typical dish here. They can be made from almost any type of meat, except for pork, since the population is mainly Muslim, and pork is forbidden by the religion. To prepare kebabs, meat is marinated in a blend of spices and herbs. Then, it is placed on a skewer, grilled, and served with bread.
Food is an important part of Azeri culture. A meal traditionally includes several different courses including appetizers, bread, soup, main dishes, desserts, and tea. This means that once you sit down, you’d better be ready to settle in for at least an hour.