Azerbaijani Bread Products
Bread is sacred in Azerbaijani culture, a symbol of prosperity and abundance. Therefore, while in country you should try not to let any crumbs fall to the ground or throw any leftover bread into a trash bin. If you see bread lying on the street, pick it up and place it somewhere where people won't step on it.
In Azerbaijan, bread is consumed with almost every type of food and is expected to be on the table for every meal, regardless of what the main course may be. While Azerbaijani bread products are too numerous to mention in full here, you won’t want to pass up the chance to try these tasty dishes:
Tendir choreyi (Tandoor bread) is a large, thick oval bread baked in a tandoor, a traditional clay oven. Particularly when served hot out of the oven, this highly popular bread is practically irresistible.
Lavash is a thin, soft flatbread also baked in a tandoor oven and prepared throughout the South Caucasus, Middle East and Central Asia. It is eaten with numerous local dishes, including the famous shoh pilaf. Azerbaijan’s lavash was even inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in recognition for its crucial role in local culture.
Qutab, Azerbaijan’s beloved savory pastry, is a thinly rolled dough filled with meat, green vegetables or pumpkin, which is then folded into a cylindrical shape and fried. The finished product, which is typically cut into smaller triangular pieces and served with a glass of fresh yogurt, is perfect as either a snack or a complete meal.
Khangal is a specific type of Azerbaijani pasta. The dish is made of rolled-up dough cut into small, thin squares and boiled in a meat broth. The khangal pasta is then pulled from the broth, set on a separate plate and served with lamb or chicken and garlic sauce.
Kesme also known as erishte, is one of the few Azerbaijani bread products that is rarely served in restaurants. This homemade egg noodle dish is prepared by mixing dough with milk before rolling the mixture out and cutting it into long, thin strips, which are then left in the sun to dry. After drying, the kesme noodles are cooked in a meat broth with spices and vegetables and served as a soup. Both kesme and khangal are warm, hearty dishes traditionally served in wintertime.