The signature dish and local foods are parts of tourist attractions. We will probably frown to some peculiar foods. We might also hate it. But most of the tasty foods are irresistible. Therefore, when visiting a foreign country, we need to get informed with the best foods that we can taste. Sometimes, we will feel surprised with the special dish in certain countries. For instance, some travelers do not know that the signature dish of Azerbaijan is the black caviar.
Most people expect that expensive dish like caviar is the product of European countries. This is so because the professional chef in the European restaurant serves it. Only prestigious people who dine in a luxurious moment can enjoy caviar. But Azerbaijan takes it to a next level.
How can the black caviar be the special dish of Azerbaijan? This is because of the Caspian Sea. It is the largest enclosed inland body of water on earth. Some pieces of literature classify it into the largest lake in the world. The Caspian Sea has no outflows. It is between two continents: Europe and Asia. Now let’s check the boundaries. It has Kazakhstan to the northeast. Russia is to the northwest. Meanwhile, Iran is to the south. Turkmenistan is to the southeast border. And Azerbaijan is to the west.
The Caspian Sea lies approximately 28 meters below the sea level in the Caspian Depression. The people firstly perceived the Caspian Sea as an ocean due to the large size and saltiness. The best caviar lies upon this sea.
Caviar word is from the word Khaviyar of Persian. It is a salt-cured fish. The dish is the best served fresh. Sometimes, it has to go through the pasteurization process. Yet, the valuable product of fresh caviar is the best one. A long time ago, caviar is only a term for a wild sturgeon in the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Caviars of Beluga, Ossetra, and Sevruga are widely excavated from those seas. And the most expensive and precious caviar comes from the endangered Beluga sturgeon. The wonderful thing is that it swims in the Caspian Sea.
What are the differences between common caviar and black caviar of Azerbaijan?
Caviar has been the most invaluable food for centuries. Well, Jack Dawson said he does not like caviar and it was a little embarrassing. But, we should not blame people like him because caviar is famous but only some limited class of society will eat it. Besides, there are some people who do not even know what kind of food it is.
Basically, caviar is the roe of fish. Yet, only the eggs of three types of sturgeon fish can be Caviar. The fish are Beluga, Osetra, and Sevruga.
Beluga fish is the largest. Thus, the eggs are also large. The rate is high for the size. The color of this caviar is steely gray. This Beluga caviar is the famous Azerbaijan black caviar.
Osetra is one type of sturgeon fish that reaches 10 feet long. The caviar colors are dark brown or bright yellow. This caviar is unique due to the nut taste.
This type of caviar is the cheapest among those three. The eggs are small. This caviar has a gray color.
Azerbaijan Culinary Profiles
It is indeed special to enjoy local cuisines in Azerbaijan. All of the foods are traditional dishes. The foods are special because of the connections to Azerbaijan’s culture. They also include tradition and their nation’s value inside the foods.
Besides, the ingredients and food commodities in Azerbaijan are unique. Azerbaijan black caviar is only one part of it. Azerbaijan has various climates. It has 9 out of 11 climate types in the entire universe. Therefore, it has good fertility. Vegetables and fruits of many kinds are available. In addition, fresh herbs and spices are all here.
Essential herbs such as mint, coriander, basil, parsley, leek, green onion, and tarragon are all available in Azerbaijan. All of them are put in main dishes.
In addition, Caspian Sea has all that people will love to eat. Fish, sturgeon, sardines, and Caspian salmon are the best edible to cook. And the superstar, Black Caviar from the Caspian Sea is the most famous course in Azerbaijan. Even, the international world imports the commodity right from Azerbaijan. Here are some of the meals:
- Soup: There are more than 30 kinds of soups in Azerbaijan. Several of them are made of plain yogurt.
- Plov: It is a kind of saffron with rice on top. It is tasty with different herbs flavor. There are more than 40 different recipes of plov to try.
- Kebabs and shashliks: These foods are popular all over the world. It has a kind of tortilla with lamb, beef, fish, and chicken filling.
- Sturgeon fish: It seems that not only the Black Caviar that people love from Sturgeon. The chefs usually grill the fish and serve it with narsharab, a pomegranate sauce. Can you imagine enjoying a grilled fish with fruit sauce?
Azerbaijan is relatively safe country. The locals will feel pleased to serve the foreign tourists. However, tourists need to get prepared for the extreme weather. This country is often associated with Russia that has an extremely cold winter. But Azerbaijan is not that cold. Besides, Caspian Sea makes the summer is bearable. So, the best time to visit is April to June and September to October.
There are various tour destinations that travelers can visit in Azerbaijan. The outdoor activities include a volcano tour. Besides, Icherisheher tour will also give a wonderful moment in this country. It is a romantic place with super gorgeous architecture. Additionally, Palace of the Shirvanshahs will be another wonderful destination. This place is from the 15th century. In addition, it is a site that is on UNESCO list as one of the pearls of Azerbaijan’s architecture.
Besides the black caviar, Azerbaijan is attractive due to the countless tour spots. Also, it has beautiful restaurants with tasty traditional foods. Visiting this country will be a lifetime experience to treasure.