Taste of tra­di­tional break­fast

Azer News - - Country Guide - By La­man Is­may­ilova

BRe­searchers found out that peo­ple who made break­fast their largest meal were less likely to be over­weight com­pared to those who ate their largest meal at lunch or din­ner.

The tra­di­tional Azer­bai­jani break­fast con­sists of sweet but­ter, var­i­ous types of white cheese, cream, honey, tandir and kuku or scram­bled egg with herbs.

Bread is con­sid­ered a sa­cred food in Azer­bai­jan. It is a sym­bol of abun­dance, pros­per­ity.

Azer­bai­jani peo­ple can’t re­ally imag­ine their break­fast with­out home­made bread, in­clud­ing tandir, lavash, and shir­in­chorek. Each of them is dif­fer­ent in shape, size, taste and smell.

‘Tandir’ bread cooks in the in­side of the hol­low which has been plas­tered in sur­round­ings. Bread is cooked by at­tach­ing on walls of tandir oven. The bread is also prepared like frag­ile bread and kept for a long time.

‘Lavash’ is thin flat bread made of wa­ter, flour and salt. It's thick­ness varies de­pend­ing on how thin it was rolled out. Toasted sesame seeds or poppy seeds are some­times sprin­kled on be­fore bak­ing.

Many re­gional va­ri­eties of flat­bread are baked in the tandir oven.

Cheese comes in nu­mer­ous va­ri­eties of dif­fer­ent styles, tex­tures and flavours.

Ow­ing to its pop­u­lar­ity, cheese plays a key part in Azer­bai­jan's tra­di­tional break­fast. While ev­ery­one has their per­sonal fa­vorite, some peo­ple like to dis­cover new va­ri­eties of cheese.

Mo­tal cheese is prepared from sheep milk. The cheese is then bro­ken into small pieces and then packed into a sheep or goat skin, known as a mo­tal for 3-4 months. The cheese has a rather spicy, slightly sharp taste and aroma.

‘Shor’ is a salty cot­tage cheese. The cheese is prepared from yo­gurt­based bev­er­age.

‘Ayran’ is con­verted by heat­ing to cot­tage cheese. Stretch­ing it through can­vas bag, put the mass into the wind­ing and then pour cold brine there. Shake it and put then in a dry place.

Doesn’t it seem like dairy is in ev­ery­thing? There’s some kind of milk prod­uct in so many things that we eat.

Bread and but­ter are one of the most pop­u­lar break­fast com­bi­na­tions world­wide. But­ter is rich in fat sol­u­ble vi­ta­mins and fatty acids that are good for health.

It's cre­ated by churn­ing or shak­ing cream un­til it sep­a­rates into solid and liq­uid parts called but­ter­fat and but­ter­milk, re­spec­tively.

Azer­bai­jani peo­ple are ad­dicted to ‘nehre’ but­ter which is won­der­fully de­li­cious.

Scram­bled egg dish with toma­toes, known as ‘po­mi­dor chigh­irt­mas’i is a sim­ple dish you can serve for break­fast.

How is po­mi­dor ‘chigh­irt­masi’ made? In a fry­ing pan melt the but­ter over medium heat. Add the toma­toes and cook, un­cov­ered, un­til lots of juices have re­leased. Pour the eggs evenly over the toma­toes. Then cook, un­cov­ered, un­til the eggs set. Sprin­kle salt and pep­per.

It's no se­cret that honey makes ev­ery­thing bet­ter, es­pe­cially break­fast. It con­tains flavonoids, an­tiox­i­dants which help re­duce the risk of some can­cers and heart dis­ease.

Honey has a strong and very sweet fla­vor, so just a driz­zle adds plenty of fla­vor to any dish.

Azer­bai­ja­nis usu­ally start their morn­ing with a ta­ble­spoon of honey.

By the way, if you have a pas­sion for all sweet things then Baku Honey Fair is a must for you. Over 300 bee­keep­ers from around Azer­bai­jan gath­ered at the fair last au­tumn.

The fair guests are able to taste and pur­chase many honey fla­vors, in­clud­ing lime, meadow, aca­cia, crown of thorns, chest­nut, sun­flower, licorice flower, sweet clover, etc.

If there’s one thing that could be even bet­ter than honey, it's a home­made jam.

In Azer­bai­jan, peo­ple make jam from al­most any­thing from wal­nuts to rose petals.

Each sum­mer, Azer­bai­jani women buy large amounts of fruit and su­gar in or­der to make a large sup­ply of pre­serves for win­ter.

Some pop­u­lar jams are made from apri­cots, straw­ber­ries, plums, rasp­ber­ries, mul­ber­ries, pears, peaches, mel­ons, figs and cher­ries.

Ev­ery year, In­ter­na­tional Jam Fes­ti­val in coun­try’s Ga­bala re­gion draws in thou­sands of guests who are eager to taste de­li­cious va­ri­eties of Azer­bai­jani jams or as it called here “murabba”.

Jam pro­duc­ers from all over the coun­try and abroad ar­rive in the city bring­ing with them hun­dreds of va­ri­eties of nat­u­ral mar­malades and jams.

If you visit an Azer­bai­jani home, un­doubt­edly you'll be served home­made jam along with black tea.

Azer­bai­jan's tea cer­e­mony re­flects an­cient tra­di­tions and lo­cal hos­pi­tal­ity.

Tea is as­so­ci­ated with warmth and friend­li­ness, there­fore, the tra­di­tion says that one should not al­low the guest to leave the house with­out hav­ing at least one cup of tea.

It is served in ‘ar­mudu glass’ i.e. ‘pear-shaped glass’ with lemon, cube su­gar, sweets and jams.

Wa­ter is boiled in var­i­ous ways, in par­tic­u­lar, in heated metal con­tain­ers known as samovars.

Make your morn­ings so much eas­ier with de­clivous Azer­bai­jani break­fast!

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