Search

FireFlies Azerbaijan

Fireflies to ignite the light inside… Fireflies to ignite the light for the World…

Catching the Past

Catching the touchable history

      Qobustan is best known for being the home to the famous rock petroglyphs and mud volcanoes.
The area has been settled since the 8th millennium BC. It is known for hosting thousands of rock engravings spread over 100 square km depicting hunting scenes, people, ships, constellations and animals. Its oldest petroglyphs date from the 12th century BC. In 2007, UNESCO included the Qobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape’ in the World Heritage list.The Gobustan State Reserve was featured during the Thirty-third Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers
There are a lot of rocky mountains, they are changeable in shape as well as colourful. Every person will have different notions even about the same view.So here we have some persons from a different country will have different thoughts about the amazing view in Qobustan.

IMG_6782.jpg

Darya, from Russia:

    Our steps walked among the rocks, we touched history with our hands. Our eyes stared at the images which are more than 15 thousand years old…We found ourselves in the ancient cave and the time turned back.

We raised our eyes to the rocks and saw the images of animals, people, dancing in the round in a ritual dance and understood the historical importance of this place.

In Qobustan you can see “petroglyphs”, it is graphic paintings on the stones. Most of them depict primitive men, animals, battle-pieces, ritual dances, bullfights, boats with armed oarsmen, warriors with lances in their hands, camel caravans, pictures of sun and stars. All of these petroglyphs had a special meaning to ancient people. People believed if you would scratch the image of goat, gazelle, deer, fox or other animals the hunting must be good. And also there are several techniques of the image with which I was able to meet. A simpler type of picture is the image of the contours of the object. The more difficult one is the image that represents not only the contour but the space inside is also scraped.

IMG_6790.jpg

We turned our way to see the panorama view from the cliff. The sun was shining very beautiful. I was feeling myself in harmony with each other and this place. But suddenly my leg felled into the deepening with water.

On the cliff in Qobustan was located kitchen in ancient times. There were deepenings with water. When the animals came here for drinking people were hunting them. And also this place was used for praying. When the weather was hot and dry. People were asking Gods to give them rain. They sacrifice here goats or other animals.

Sadef, from China:
      As an old saying goes in China: Practice is the sole criterion for testing truth. We always think that if you want to learn something there is only one way —- face to it and fell it yourselves. Only when I arrived Qobustan can I find how amazing this touchable history can be.
       This is the paradise of imagination. Here you can use your imagination as you like. Actually, we have seen a strange rock, then our guide let us guess what this rock looks like. Here comes a lot of answers and the hottest answer is it looks like a lion’s head. Afterword, we climbed up this rock and took photos.

IMG_6775.jpg

I have to say that in China precious historical relics like this will be protected very well. There are always transparent protective covers on the relics. So it was impossible for us to touch and feel the historic relics. It’s really a pity. But we have no choice they are too precious to us without protections we are afraid of losing it. But in Qobustan the situation been totally different. It inspires people to close contact with history and supports people using imagination to create the history. This is really effective and interesting way to let people learn and remember the history.
Heritage and protection are equally important to history. So it is hard to compare the way between the two countries and impossible to say who is wrong. We can only say that the two approaches are different but are all the best.

 

Omar, from Bahrain:
For us it won’t be easy to do it independently and having a bus is the best option for our group members. So we went to Qobustan by bus. The sign to Gobustan is well marked but the place is not near the main road and it will take from us probably 30-45 min walking to get there.
       This primitive art in Qobustan landscape displays the culture, economy, outlooks, customs and traditions of ancient people.
Also, the drawings clearly reflect the entire evolution of humans. There are the scenes of mountain goat hunt, ceremonial dances with spears – the most ancient period of time, mesolite. We see the amazing images of horse and unmounted hunting, battles, collective work and harvesting.
         Rock drawings perpetuated the figures of the animals which lived there for the last 10 thousand years – goitered gazelles, wild goats, deer, wild boars, horses, lions, etc. There are also beautiful images of birds, fishes, snakes, lizards and insects.

IMG_6373.jpg

       There is also a small museum that explains the area and then takes a walking tour in the area. This museum combines modern science and technology with ancient civilization. It shows more clearly about the lifestyle of the ancient people. It’s  really an efficient way to help us learn and remember the history. It’s our amazing trip to Qobustan.

 

Advertisements

World Citizens | Living in the “Global Village”

1299124704.jpg

Have you ever experienced culture shock?

Have you ever experienced to be exposed to a multicultural atmosphere?

Have you ever experienced to use poor English but try your best to introduce your motherland to foreigners?

Have you ever…

No matter what your answers are, Yes or No, I am sure this Global Volunteer experience is something that worth valuing.

A former member of AIESEC organisation told me: If you want to be part of a culture that is unfamiliar to you, you will need at least four weeks.

However, Global Village gave me a totally different understanding of it: Touching the culture is sometimes just a second.

2082346068.jpg

At 6:00 PM on January 28, 2018 (Local Time), the Global Village officially opened in Park Bulvar Mall. Strong music, clear rhythm, sweet tune… All this led passers-by to a halt. Before we start our Chinese booth, I quickly rambled among the booths of volunteers from other countries. The Sphinx and other golden decoration from Egypt interested me most. They dense the shiny sheen under the orange light, and show the mien of Egypt. Besides, I was also impressed by the girls from Kyrgyzstan. They showed their country’s speciality to everyone, and even wore traditional national costumes, which refresh our eyes. Guys from New Zealand offered tasty chocolate while friends from the UK gave delicious candy. In addition, the most popular food is the vegetable and meat pancake made by Iran’s Maryam. Other brothers and sisters from Bahrain, Korea, Belarus, Kuwait, Russia, Denmark… And Azerbaijan local as well, all got together and enjoy in the global village. Some hot roll call (a kind of AIESEC dance) music made us cross the boundary of the country. At that moment, we were all just the world citizens.

804584139.jpg

After a brief “world trip“, we start our own Chinese booth. Due to our carelessness and ill-preparation, we didn’t bring enough things but only the flag, some Chinese pickles, a pair of CARDS and some Chinese style tape. To our surprise, these little things attracted a lot of people. They are all interested in the pictures of emperors on the cards. So we two Chinese schoolgirls transform teachers, explaining the history stories happened in Chinese Qing dynasty. Meanwhile, our pickles and Chinese tapes also got lots of attention. Local citizens are really curious about the taste of pickles since it is a totally new thing for them. And girls like to wrap tape around their wrists because they think it looks so nice.

What’s more, we also enjoyed some shows, which are real feasts of eyes. Girls from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan perform an eyeful dance and boy from Egypt sang a melodious song. Besides, guys from Indonesia offered a folk custom show. Everyone danced happily at the centre of the stage and even the passer-by joined us. It’s such an amazing night, in which we knew other countries’ culture better and enjoyed ourselves during the three hours. Culture is diverse, and culture is one.

We are all world citizens in the Global Village.

Written by: Ciara Ge

 

GANJA

Our last day in the region of Azerbaijan started with waking up too early from what we were used to. It would be the last time that all volunteers would stay in the same place and our final day would continue with Ganja, the last city on our trip.

Before we left we had a nice sweet cake that our project manager had prepared for us.

As we were driving to Ganja, the second largest city of Azerbaijan, you could see the beautiful landscape of the area, the green and brown colours and the blues sky, some hours later we made our first stop.

The Nizami Mausoleum, where the poet Nizami Ganjavi rests is located outside of Ganja, it was rebuilt in 1991 and it is surrounded by metal statues representing his poets. Nijami, who live in the 12 century, is considered one of the greatest romantic poets of the Persian literature, with his most famous notable work being The Five Jewels.

Ganja’s history starts it the early times as an important city of Caucasus. Early artefacts are the Ganja gate, one of the six that survived through time, when in the 11 century they would surround the city walls. Not many tourists know but it was the first capital of Azerbaijan at 1918 and after the Soviets, who had changed the city’s name, during the independence the city took its old name back. Nowadays it’s the most tourist attraction city after Baku and it was selected for European Youth Capital for 2016. The Nizami Museum, the lakes and the Khan Bagy Park are the first places that a tourist should visit.

Our next stop was the lakes of Ganja were we visited two of them. The most famous of them is Lake Goygol. It is a very nice place to walk and enjoy the nature. There are 200 stairs that connect the two lakes with souvenirs benches during the route.

2

After our visit to the lake and a quick lunch at a nearby restaurant where we ate the most delicious qutab we left for the city. A few hours later we were going to continue our adventure to Georgia and a local offered to keep our luggage’s to his house so we could enjoy the city. It was after ten the night and the city was almost empty with a few tourists. We had a small walk in the city centre and we spent our time sitting on a bench talking and waiting for the time that we had to say goodbye to the city and leave for our next trip.

 

one day in Baku

9AM – Baku Azerbaijan.

The sun is shining, the weather is cool, and you’re enjoying your breakfast in one of the various restaurants of the Old City. A place that takes you back in time to the 12th century with its old Persian architecture. The streets are tight and empty. Only a few locals are preparing their traditional shops and setting their merchandises. The deeper you go into it, the more you feel the importance of this fortress.

At some point, you got lost and just arrived in front of the Maiden Tower, a touching building to its history and the famous love story that happened.

 

It’s 11am…

As you finished your walk through the old city, you ended up in “Targovaya”, the Champs-Elysées of Baku. It begins from the fountain square, and the more you continue the more you feel the mixture of its architecture.

2

From the neogothic, to the baroque and neoclassicism. This area of the city, full of parks, fountains and statues takes you to a summer day in Budapest or Prague.

The more you walk the more you feel the melting pot and diversity of this country. You can notice all of this simply in its architecture.

 

Now it’s 4pm. Your direction takes you to the boulevard, also known as the National Park. This park that was established in 2009 and is right next to the Caspian Sea. This beautiful park that surrounds the coast offers a beautiful view of the bay. It also has many places to see, like the Park Boulevard, tens of restaurants, some gardens, and beautiful little Venice. A beautiful and fancy place that was. You had the chance to rent and ride bicycles by the shore. You felt the freedom as you rode under the sun with the wind stroking on our shoulder. Especially when you just closed your eyes for a second and rolled with no hands on the wheel.

If you looked on your right side, you could admire the endless sea. The boulevard extended towards Bayil settlement, where the National Flag Square is. According to Guinness Book of Records the flag flies on a pole 162 meters’ high which makes it the world’s 3rd highest flag. Moreover, you can find the Baku Crystal Hall near the Flag. The hall provides an impressive scene at night because of its colorful lights. Hours have passed without noticing.

3.jpg

In fact, this city is located on the coast of “Country of fire”. It shows a modern and fashionable architecture complexion, becoming the new symbol of the capital of Azerbaijan. The name speaks for itself “Flame Towers”. It was 9 PM, as these three giant buildings raged with flames that are visible from any point of Baku. The view is spectacular, and yet more pleasant that you can absolutely enjoy it for free. It’s dinner time already, so you grabbed a doner to eat as you watched the LED screens light up with flames on the Flame Towers, showing the motion of fire. This astonishing show, along with the enormous size of the towers transform the buildings into three giant torches. It’s a dinner and a show!

4.jpg

Nowadays, a luxurious hotel Fairmont Baku, offices, apartments and dwellings suites are situated in the Flame Towers. The complex was constructed in five years, from 2007 till 2012. By the way, each tower is higher than the other by 20-30 m. Which makes their heights 140, 160 and 190 m high. The architecture of the Flame Towers is unusual and interesting, not only because it’s the symbol of Azerbaijan and its flames, but because of the feeling of warmth that they give you when you look at them.

It was such a long day in Baku. But, the night just started…

How much cheaper your trip in Azerbaijan can be?

1.jpg

Azerbaijan’s economy is mostly depended on oil and natural gas prices, which the last two years is a drawback for the country’s economy due to the prices decline but it is good for your budget trip.

Don’t let yourself be disappointed by the flight tickets especially if you are from a long distance country.

Departure Price ( $)
UAE 335 $
Turkish 155 $
Bahrain 503$
Algeria 703$
China 1177$
Greece 388$

Also if your country is not on that list (https://evisa.gov.az/en/) it means you will need a visa which costs 20$.

Personally as volunteers who came to Baku our first encounter with the local economy was the transportation means. You will have to pay 0, 20 AZN for bus and metro which is really cheap if you transfer it to dollars (0, 12$). About taxi, as a tourist, the driver will try to gain more money from you, but First Rule about Azerbaijan: Always Bargain! If you are good you can even get a 70% discount and of course Tip No 1: ask the price before you start the ride.

Next, comes accommodation, you can stay in a hotel, hostel or rent an apartment/house. You know sadly for you, we were luckier than you are because we were living with an Azerbaijani host family. If you have a chance like this, take it, trust us is it worth. As you can imagine the prices at the capital are higher than the rest of the country but you can find a nice room for a night for 10$ and in the region even for 5$. For a lot of days, you can rent a house, it will be much cheaper and if you are more than one person rent a car too, the countryside of Azerbaijan has many hidden surprises for the tourists.

And yes, we know you have been waiting for this since the beginning; it’s time for food and drinks. So Rule No 2: Taste and Drink everything. It’s cheap! In all of the restaurants, you will find local cuisine but also dishes from the neighbour and European countries. At Baku, there are all kinds of restaurants, expensive and cheap, in the region just cheap. You can have breakfast for 2$ and lunch/dinner for 4-7$. Of course, try street food like doner. Tip No 2: if they say it’s spicy it’s not just hot, it’s really hot.

Now, about drinks, clubs at Baku are kind of expensive so you may visit a pub first for a beer with 2 AZN (1, 18$). In the region many locals sell food to the visitors even for 0, 50 coins, it’s the absolute Azerbaijani food experience you will have.

So do you remember the first rule? Well in museums and archaeological sites you can’t bargain but most of them have discounts especially for students, so bring your IDs, guys. It will be difficult for you to find a ticket for more than 10 AZN, even Heydar Aliev Cultural Center costs 10-15 AZN is really worth it. Suggestions: visit national history museum for 5 AZN, the carpet museum for 7 AZN and maiden tower for 10 AZN. And if you bring your student ID with you, it can be 0.6 AZN or you can look for open door days for free entrance.

3.jpg

And last, there is no tourist without some shopping. You will find a lot of souvenirs stores and benches in the old city and in all historical and tourist attractions places. Also, Baku has 4 malls and a lot of shops where you can find everything you wish and as always in a good price!

Food in Land of Fire!

Food is an essential thing in our life. As we all know there are verities of food in one country, think about all the food from all around the world. For this part of the blog, we are going to introduce Azerbaijani food for you from different perspectives. For the last few days, we had a good amount of time with local people here in Baku, tasting their local food, from breakfast to dinner learning an overwhelming amount of things about its importance, being not only a biological function but a deep part of their culture and traditions. We hope you find what you are looking for.

Having 9 climate zone in Azerbaijan out of the 11 ones known in the world resulted in a richness of their cuisine, going from the salty to the sweet, from the acid to the smooth.

Breakfast:

Azerbaijani traditional breakfast is very appetizing. To be fair quite copious. The main ingredient in every Azerbaijani breakfast is tandoori bread which is a bread baked in a clay oven called Tandoor. Some types yoghourts and creamy cheeses with herbs, honey and jam are to be spread on the bread. There are many dishes composing these breakfasts such as special egg pie called “kuku”. It’s basically vegetables with chicken or fish in larger quantity than eggs. Another egg based popular breakfast dish is Pomidor qayganag, similar to scramble eggs. This is far tastier. It’s cooked with butter, which gives it delicious taste, added to it tomatoes and onions. All of this goes along with a cup of sweet black tea.

1.jpg

Dinner :

Considering the fact that everyone is working in daytime, Azerbaijani people give an extreme importance to dinner. Whole family members gather and share their feelings, emotions.

Dishes differ from a season to another. For instance; in summer, people prefer to eat fresh salads, vegetables, and fruits, in order to rehydrate the body from the day heat. One of the most typical dishes is Watermelon with cheese. While in winter, it’s common to cook heavy and hot meals. Like Xangal, Dusbere, Piti and Ash.

2.jpg

Sweets and Pastries:

After having a big satisfying meal for sure, you would like to end it with a great sweet. Azerbaijan is full of wonderful choices of sweets and guesses what in each area you will find different verities. some of the most famous sweets are pakhlava, shakarbura, Halva ( Shaki Halvasi), Bamya, Noghul, pancakes with jam or sweet cheese and parvarda.

Azerbaijani pastries vary and have many kinds. We are going to talk about one special pastry that considered at the same time sweet “Pakhlava”. In Azerbaijan, Pakhlava represents the land and the stars when it’s shaped like diamonds. It’s made with nuts, oil, honey and lots of sugar. You will find here Turkish Pakhlava is very different. It’s called Sekerbura and it represents the moon and decorated with a special line. Boys used to see the lines and the girl that made the most beautiful lines is chosen as a wife. Nevertheless, do not worry pakhlava is easy to make.

 

Baku Strangers in the Night

It’s the end of the day but the prelude of my Azerbaijan night-life. It is the most romantic, relaxing and comfortable time for drinking tea with sunset, breeze and friends. I love drinking tea and can do it whenever I want. So it was a good surprise for me that the locals are also tea-lovers. In my country, I drink all kinds of tea without adding anything, but here black (strong) one is popular and you can add sugar to make it sweet and fresh lemon to make it less bitter. Also, a definite amount of coffins in the tea will help keep me sober. I noticed that for locals drinking tea is something more than a regular activity for getting rid of thirstiness, due to it people get to know each other better and become closer.  So, my perfect evening was when I and my friends went to a café near the sea to have a couple of cups of tea, to make some conversation and enjoy the stunning sunset.

1

I think walking along the Boulevard is the second thing that must be done to make an evening even better after drinking tea. And I could never see Boulevard in sleeping state, at any time of the day thousands of people walk through it and in their hearts the Boulevard burns in its own way. It fascinates and attracts with its immensity, beauty and atmosphere, and everyone can find a place and entertainment for themselves. That is why we also wanted to make our evening more interesting. So the trip on a boat will decorate our pastime on the boulevard. Three-deck “Mirvari” is the largest pleasure boat in Baku water area. And it is very comfortable and spacious. It will satisfy every visitor since there is a covered area, protected from the wind and other weather troubles, and at the same time open spaces on the upper decks and on the sides. From the sea, we saw a beautiful panoramic view of the seaside boulevard and the whole city. The view of the night city is even more fascinating, the lights of night Baku touch the thinnest strings of my soul and create such a romantic atmosphere on the boat. I’m sure everyone will receive their own portion of pleasure. And this trip gave me a feeling of lightness and harmony, secluded from my thoughts…

I looked at this beautiful piece of the world

and thanked fate for being here, in Baku.

So, as the night is falling this city becomes more and more relaxed, time passes more slowly and as the sun stops shining I can feel just pure warmth hugging me. In my mind staying at the sea side seems like a place where I can relax for a bit and enjoy the view from another side. The Boulevard is the road lying on the seashore, I can see big area made only for walking, riding bicycles and enjoying sea side. The Boulevard is separated from the road with beautiful trees surrounded with flowers and big benches. You can notice it is inviting you to take a rest and escape the busy reality that is happening on the other side of these tree-walls. There are couples, big groups of friends, kids, pets taking time for themselves and people they love. Walking through Boulevard makes me feel like the part of this world that I actually don’t know but it feels so familiar to me.

3.JPG

Probably that is why I didn’t notice how time flew by and how I spent all nights in Boulevard. I’ve been losing sleep, dreaming about the things that we could be. Walking along the seaside, I looked up at the sky and lost myself in watching this amazing scene. All of these stars will guide us home and all of the lights will lead into the night. I can see the stars in Azerbaijan, I wonder do you see them too? At that very special moment, I just want to see it with you.

4.jpeg

At about 4:30, a bit of red ray appears in the east and it is becoming brighter and brighter. Everything in Baku starts waking up from a sweet dream. I also had a sweet dream about this whole beautiful city yesterday. The sun starts to rise from the coastline. The new day begins and everyone can continue to work hard. The sun sprung out of the sea water, looking like a large elliptic ball, and the sky in the east becomes red. People in Azerbaijan now are full of energy to embrace their new life and I am also hopeful to enjoy the rest of time to feel the beauty of Baku.

5.jpeg

 

 

Expectations VS. Reality

Have I ever thought about coming to Azerbaijan? Have I realized that I could live in this country for a month and a half? The answer is no.

I have never wanted to travel to this country as a tourist. I have always dreamed of visiting France or Italy, but not actually Azerbaijan.

When I was in the airport and waiting for the flight I didn’t have expectations at all. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. Just wanted to believe that everything would be fine.

So I want you to see my expectations and reality about this country. Let’s start with the reasons why I didn’t want to come to Baku and how I changed my mind about Azerbaijan.

Firstly, there are lots of stereotypes about Azerbaijan in my country. In the majority, they are not good at all. Many of my friends mentioned that people (especially men) are very unpredictable and wild in this country. They can be dangerous, so you had better be careful. Men can be obsessed with Russian girls. So there is a high probability not to return home (if you a woman)

I can ensure you that there is the truth about half of it. Really when you come to Baku you will be shocked at the huge amount of attention. Men always stare at you if you cross the street or pass by them. They can talk to you, shout something or even try to get acquainted with you. But you can make advantages from it. Not all of this kind of guys are bad. The majority of them are really interesting and open-minded guys which can show Azerbaijan and open the country from a different side!

IMG_2140.JPG

Getting acquainted with a native person will give you many opportunities, for example, to try the traditional food (which is really tasty and delicious!), find the hidden gems in this magical city and explore traditions and culture of the country.

IMG_2138.JPG

People here are very helpful and sympathetic. You also can’t believe it! Everybody wants you to be pleased and not to be in need with something. If you don’t know the way, they can lead you to the bus, pay for it and even go with you to be sure that you will find the right direction. In the shop, they can give you a banana for free and invite to their village in order to show you all the hospitality at their house.

Secondly, it is the east mentality. You can be scared of the women in hijab crossing the street, rigid traditions and customs and impossibility to wear shorts and cropped tops. Actually, the fact about clothes is true. It is better not to wear open clothes and too short shorts. If you follow these rules, everything will be fine. Besides, the Muslim women have something secret and magic in their way of life. I fell in love with it, really! They build the unique atmosphere of this country, which gives you desire to explore it more.

IJPR5969.jpgSZGU0621.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third reason can be the fact that Azerbaijan was in the Soviet Union. If you are from Russia, you may predict that there is nothing to see in this country. The question is that all of the countries which were the part of USSR, are the same. I reckon it is the main reason why Russian people don’t want to visit this place. But I can swear you the country is worth to visit. You will be pleased with the architecture that has the special spirit here. I really like the colours of this country! When you walk through the city your mind is captured with east charm. Cats are waiting for you everywhere. The smell of spices, pakhlava ( kind of dessert pastry ) and hot stupefy BRFX8727.jpgyou.JOVY6415.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can say that Baku nights are one of the most exciting things that happened to me. Lightened skyscrapers, the colour of traditional restaurants, the beauty of Boulevard makes you crazy.

HLDP1104.jpg

To sum up, I really recommend you visiting this country! I fell in love with it and if I get a chance to move here in the future, I will definitely use this opportunity!

Article: Irina Abramkina
Photo: Malika Makhmudova

EATING THE CULTURE

The land of fire, its complex history, its contrasts. The Caucasian mountains and blue of the Caspian sea. The soft camel wooden scarfs and its carpets. There is no other way to experience the real Azerbaijani culture but doing it through the food.

Mince meat, dairy products and a generous dose of oil. If your palate enjoys living the flavour of these ingredients it will find in here its cup of tea. I invite you to take a seat at Firuza restaurant in Baku and to order the Dolma. You can go for the one with grapes leaves if you like a stronger and sour taste or the ones with the cabbage leaves, the “sweet dolma” for a delicate meal. They look like small green tubes but judge them only after trying them. I would suggest you consider the “3 sisters dolma”, composed of a tomato, a pepper and one aubergine. All the combinations are filled with minced meat and spices.

 

 

Beside them, it can be ordered some Plov. There are many versions of this delicious serve and it is up to you to find the one that better satisfies your request. The plov comes in two pots, one with the Azerbaijani rice. İn the other one you’ll see the dressing: a mix of dry fruits, hazelnuts, onion and meat cooked together slowly. Another very traditional dressing has the taste of their famous promenades that perfectly match with the onion and the sauce: say hello to the Fisincan Plov.

3.jpg

To accompany a nice meal there is no better drink than the famous Dovga. Yogurt, water, salt and sometimes eggs with chopped green vegetables; it is not a substitute for water but it will refresh you on a hot day. It is possible to find it in supermarkets but it doesn’t have the same intense, natural taste.

Are you in a rush because you want to assist to the switching on of the flame tower from the Boulevard? Get a Gutab and eat it on the way. Just imagine a pretty perfect round shaped dough. Imagine an old lady standing it on the table and making it thin. Thin enough to make the light first come across it and then catch it with a carpet of mince meat and then fold it in two. What about using pumpkin or green herbs instead? My favourite is the one with camel meat and dry grapes. I love diving the Qutab in the creamy yoghurt and then into the red sumakh spice.

4.jpg

I also love the sound of the tar when it covers the one of the metal against your teeth. This is what I experienced when I went to Fisincan. I was walking near “Targovi” and as a bug is attracted from the light, so I was with the indoors of this restaurant and its 3 musicians with their lively art. People sitting at the table had their head in the long menu and waiters were moving around with elegance. One of them was carrying the “Mimosa salad” (o stopped him and asked). Eggs, potatoes, carrots, all boiled and chopped. Some mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Served cold. Few ingredients for a wide sensation of delicate flavour.

Flavours completely different from the Duşbara. This soup gains its distinction for being light and delicate, perfect for cold winters but it is also worth giving it a try in summer. In your bowl, there will be tiny dumplings made of ground meat wrapped in the dough. Let the flavour of onions and spices in the background embrace your senses.

5.jpg

Add some bread. Clean the bowl with it or just bit it. There is always some tandir bread in an Azerbaijani house, so it is on eating place. A big tube, around 1mediameteretre and 1,5 metre high. Hot. Inflamed, where the bread is placed inside at the borders like stars are sticked in the sky. The tandir oven is a master piece of the traditional azerbaijani cuisine. No matter if you go to supermarkets or if you follow the smell of flour on the streets. The round shape of bread that the bakers take out from this peculiar oaven will became addiction. Crounch and soft parts fit together divinely.

 

6

And I wish your heart and your desire of exploring will make your journey going on into the middle of the country. Up to the village of Seki. There the bread is essential for Piti. A slowly cooked meal that combines land, animals and people. Piti is a food ceremony where the lamb meat dance in an oily sauce, accompanied with chickpeas and saffron. You should chop bread on a plate and then pour the sauce on them. When you have eaten this, you can start the next part. You can pour the rest on the plate, smash it and add sumakh as you wish.

If the smell of the ancient recipes brought you to the depth of the soul of the tradition of Azerbaijan, you might now leave Seki and take with you 6 manats of the local halva. It will make your return sweeter. Your mind will think about the lady that lay out the nuts with sugar and honey on the wide plate. Your thoughts will always be there and this flavour will last in your heart.

Article/Photos: Laura Fabbri, Anna Popova

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑