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Peace Corps Azerbaijan Welcome Book | September 2007

Peace Corps Azerbaijan Welcome Book | September 2007


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Peace Corps Azerbaijan Welcome Book
Peace Corps Azerbaijan Welcome Book

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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: Accessible Journal Media Peace Corps Docs on Jun 13, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Azerbaijan’s geographical location on the historic Silk Road is

reflected in its cuisine—a mixture of Turkish, Middle Eastern,

and Central Asian, with a dollop of Russian. Its fertile soils

produce a huge variety of fruits and vegetables (among them

apples, cherries, grapes, olives, lemons, persimmons, melons,

watermelons, raspberries, strawberries, currants, plums,

peaches, pears, quince, pomegranates, tomatoes, beans,



beets, bell peppers, cabbage, chickpeas, cucumbers, carrots,

eggplants, lentils, lettuce, potatoes, squashes, and onions), as

well as a variety of nuts, spices, and teas. You will immediately

notice the delicious taste of Azerbaijani produce in fresh

salads. During the winter, however, the availability and

affordability of fresh fruits and vegetables decreases, so many

families in small towns and villages have extensive gardens

and preserve fruits and vegetables for the winter.

The traditional diet leans toward a variety of stews or soups

made with lamb, one or more vegetables, and potatoes. Also

ubiquitous are kabab, skewers of barbecued lamb. Beef

and edible innards are widely available, though they are not

as popular as lamb or mutton. Chicken and fish are widely

available along the coast, in the south, and in major towns,

but less so elsewhere. One of the special treats in Azerbaijan

is caviar. Bread is served at almost every meal, and “breaking

bread” with people is taken literally.

Although meat is central to the Azerbaijani diet, it is possible

for vegetarians to maintain a meatless diet throughout their

service. In addition to the fruits and vegetables mentioned

above, dairy products (cheese, eggs, milk, sour cream, and

yogurt) and grains are widely available. It may seem strange

to your host family that you prefer not to eat meat, but they

are likely to respect that decision and accommodate your

needs accordingly.

Typical drinks include bottled water and soft drinks, fruit

juices, beer, and vodka. The traditional drink of choice is

tea (chai), offered as a sign of hospitality. It is sweetened

with either jam or sugar and drunk from glasses. Coffee is

available, but outside of the capital, expect to receive a packet

of instant Nescafé. In rural areas, alcoholic beverages are

less widely available, and drinking them is frowned upon (in

keeping with the Muslim culture).





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