Presentation of Azerbaijani national foods in US - “The Food of Azerbaijan: History & Diversity" | Eurasia Diary -

10 May, Monday

Presentation of Azerbaijani national foods in US - “The Food of Azerbaijan: History & Diversity"

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Los Angeles hosted a brilliant event dedicated to Azerbaijani cuisine. On 16 February, Culinary Historians of San Diego Library (CHSD) held a public meeting about the Azerbaijani cuisine.

“The Food of Azerbaijan: History & Diversity" was featured by Feride Buyuran, an international expert of Azerbaijani culinary.

Thank to Barbara Petersen the president of CHSD for organizing such a beautiful meeting. During the lecture, Feride Buyuran presented national foods of Azerbaijan in a broad way.

Following the lecture, in a few weeks, CHSD members will enjoy a delicious Azerbaijani feast at San Diego’s Cafe 21 Gaslamp, a popular restaurant owned by an Azerbaijani-American Lala Bayramova Javadova. Guests will sample dumplings (gurza), stuffed grape leaves (dolma), and other specialities from Azerbaijan.

The culinary is an important feature of national cultures. Feride Buyuran has a lot of contributions to the promotion of Azerbaijani cuisine in the US.

Although she has not education on culinary, the love for foods makes her research on national foods of Azerbaijan and to promote such a beautiful cuisine in the US. It raised huge interest among Americans.

In this way, she also wrote a book about Azerbaijani national foods "Pomegranates & Saffron: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan" in 2015.

The book contains 200 tempting recipes for appetizers and salads, soups and stews, pasta, meat, vegetable and egg dishes, breads, saffron rice pilafs, aromatic drinks, and desserts, all adapted for preparation in a Western kitchen.

The book was awarded 5 times: Gourmand Best in the World Award (2015), Gourmand World Cookbook Award (2014), Living Now Book Award (2015), National Indie Excellence Award (2016), Best Books Award (2016).

Feride Buyuran also organizes tours for famous American cuisiners and experts on culinary. International experts are invited to Azerbaijan to learn our cuisine. They are get acquainted with national foods and how to cook it.

When she created the first tour, very important persons accepted her initiation and joined the tour. Among the travellers, there was food writer Charles Perry, President of the Culinary Historians of Southern California and former staff writer for the food section of the Los Angeles Times.

During the tour, the travellers marvelled at the unique experiences they had on every stop in both countries. Mr Perry raved about the variety of baklavas he was able to sample in Azerbaijan. Another traveller, Kathy S. Rice, called the trip ‘a once in a lifetime opportunity!’

Many other travellers shared their views on their trips to Azerbaijan. Jude and Woolf Kanter from Los-Angeles visited Azerbaijan and share their views on the trip:

"I had to Google Azerbaijan knowing it was near the Middle East but not knowing exactly where it was. We arrived in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, in the evening and were greeted by Feride at the airport. 

We were on the move constantly, going to many different dining experiences, cultural and historic sites (among them UNESCO World Heritage sites), operating rug factories, baklava bakeries, museums, palaces, mosques, old bathhouses, monasteries, churches, you name it - we went there! This trip was amazing.  If you are looking for a unique experience, this tour is for you."

Darrow Soares was surprised to see high-level multicultural traditions in Azerbaijan:

"Visiting the remote village of Khinalig, high in the Caucus Mountains could top the list. To get there, we all piled into old Soviet Lada Zhiguli autos and ascended the mountain roads to the village. The trip was a beautiful rugged experience through steep dirt roads, sheer cliffs, and rocky rivers. Once there, we found an agrarian community frozen in time. 

Equally interesting were our excursions into the Jewish and Russian enclaves of Azerbaijan. The Russian village of Ivanovka stands out as one of the many fascinating relics of Soviet influence gone by. There, we visited families and were invited into homes. The mix of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian cultures struck me as remarkable."

As we see, Feride Buyuran is not promoting Azerbaijani cuisine. At the same time, she has initiated many projects for presenting unique Azerbaijani culture to the world. Such initiations are the success of promoting our culture worldwide.


Ulvi Ahmedli

Eurasia Diary

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