I am back to blogging! I returned from Azerbaijan a month and a half ago but have been buried in the work on my cookbook (we are almost there!), hence “abandoned” my blog for some time. Before you say “this girl always does that, I am outta here,” please pause and think about all the wonderful posts that are waiting in line to be be posted here for you. I have tons of recipes that I can’t wait to share with you.
I hope you enjoyed my first virtual photo tour from my trip to Azerbaijan. Here’s part II. What can I say? I had a fantastic time back there. Saw a lot of friends, traveled around with my family, sampled delicious food everywhere we went, met wonderful people, and made new friends.
I also took lots of pictures. Some of them found their way here. Here they are, in no particular order. For you to enjoy and maybe plan your own trip to Azerbaijan, too. I can’t wait to hear what you think about the photos.
Baku, the capital. Samovars, big and small in one of Old City’s tea-houses.
Baku’s Old City. Traditional caps for women on sale. Tourists love them!
Here’s the first food teaser. Meet the most unusual omelet I have ever seen. A jumbo SWEET omelet. Served as a dessert. This is a traditional “cake” of the Ordubad region. Great news! The recipe will be in my cookbook!
Carpet weaving demonstration. Gala village, Baku.
These flatbreads filled with meat and sprinkled with sumac (gutab) are beyond delicious. We sampled them in the region of Zagatala in the northwest.
Mountains surrounding the beautiful village of Ilisu of the Gakh region.
A historic mosque in the village of Ilisu in Gakh.
The village of Ilisu is famous for its boat-shaped pasta served with dried meat. Mostly a winter time meal, but we didn’t say no to it in the summer! Sampled in the dish’s birthplace. A-m-a-z-i-n-g taste!
In the village of Ilisu in Gakh.
Jumping to Baku again. This is me happy posing with beautiful pieces of art and carpets for sale in Baku’s Old City.
Ateshgah, an ancient fire-worshippers temple, not far from Baku.
A historic palace of the Shirvanshahs in Baku’s Old City.
For sale. Beautiful, colorful, very traditional. Baku.
I love old doors! This one was spotted in the region of Ordubad. Who knows how many stories it guards behind!
Here’s one interesting door in Ordubad. Very old. Look at the door knocks on the left and right. In the past, the one on the left was used by men so that a man would open the door, while the one on the right was knocked by a woman for a woman of the house to greet the visitor. Notice how the knocks differ in shape. They also differ in weight. Men’s’ knock is heavier hence produces heavier sounds than women’s knock. These “gender differentiations” in door knocking is, of course, a thing of past. But the locals have preserved these doors as part of their history. There are many of them in the region.
“Bucket bazaar” in the region of Gabala.
On our way to Baku from the northwest, we stopped in the city of Shamakhi, about 2 hours from the capital. My cousin, who lives there, treated us to this unusual dessert (note that this is not a traditional Shamakhi dessert). Strips of home-made cookies, reminiscent of ladies’ delicate fingers (definitely not mine!), buried under luscious cream, and sprinkled with shaved chocolate. I am yet to get the recipe from my cousin. Consider this to be another teaser.
Dried mulberries. Ordubad.
Historic Albanian church high on a hill in the Gakh region.
Lavash bread made by my Ordubadi relatives.
Fresh from the vine!
In the region of Ordubad one can spot teapots hanging high at the entrance. These teapots are believed to bring luck to the household and protect it from evil eyes.
Museum of History. Ordubad. Used to be a covered marketplace in the past.
A glimpse of farmer’s market in Zagatala.
My paternal grandparents come from the village of Nusnus in Ordubad. This is an old village, as if frozen in time. But beautiful in its own way.
Our kids had a lot of fun back there. They especially loved crossing makeshift bridges a zillion times.
Palace of the Shirvanshahs in Baku. A glimpse of it, to be precise.
Local wine for sale. Note that big blue bead above. It is to “protect” against “evil eyes.” Azerbaijanis are rather superstitious.
Kids playing on the narrow streets of Baku’s Old City.
Beautiful children of Ordubad.