After a long flight, I am finally back home in Alaska. It means I am jet lagged again, but this time I decided I am going to blog regardless of being half asleep. So let’s get started, or should I say, let’s wrap up.
My bazaar adventures ended at the cheese, snack, and condiment isles, which I enjoyed very much, especially sampling part.
In this isle, I found cheeses and other dairy products from different regions of Azerbaijan; soft and hard cheeses made from sheep, goat, and cow milk.
What about sheep cheese aged inside a sack made from sheep skin? I will be honest; I am not a fan, too funky for me. If you are wondering what is in that bag hanging over the sack. It is lavash, very thin flat bread. Traditionally cheeses in Azerbaijan are eaten wrapped in lavash or with tandir.
Shor, a salty spread, is made in the same way as farmer’s cheese in the US. Sometimes black cumin seeds ( I prefer their gastronomical name ‘love in a mist’) are added to compliment the flavors. I just love the flavor these seeds add to the cheese. So delicious!
Herbs, teas, and more.
One of the herbs I miss in my cooking, especially grilling, is the thyme from Azerbaijan. It is different from the thyme we get here in the states both in flavor and appearance, so much more aromatic and flavorful. I couldn’t leave the market without buying a bag of it to bring with me.
With its bright color, the turmeric, definitely, stands out in this picture.
Dried barberries, popular in Azerbaijan and the Middle Eastern countries, are tart fruit of barberry plant. They are added to dishes both to balance out sweetness and compliment the flavors.
Nut and seed bars.
Sugar-coated dried apricots.
Roasted sunflower seeds and sumak. Sumak, lemony and tangy spice, is sprinkled over variety of dishes, for example, meat dishes, salads, or qutab .
Those folded into wedges maroon-colored circles are called Turshu, popular sour snack made from plums. If you read On the Road form Baku to Sheki – Part 1, you already know that I bought turshu to bring back to the States with me.
Local markets by far are one of my favorite places to visit when I travel, and I have to say the bright colors and beautiful aromas from this bazaar will stay with me for a long time. Luckily, I will be back to visit my parents in a year or two to explore new bazaars and the vibrant cuisine of the Caucuses.