Feast, drink and be merry in Azerbaijan
Feast, drink and be merry in Azerbaijan

An Eastern country with a Western outlook, Azerbaijan is supported by a rich history that dates back 5000 years and a composite culture that has evolved with time. Once home to thousands of travelers through the Great Silk Road, its cuisine is influenced by many cultures and tells a tale of its versatile past as well as its generous climates, which grows some of the most delicious fruits, vegetables, and grains. 

Reflecting the Azerbaijani culture, the meals offers a spectacular fusion of delicacies, from fruity sauces to juice mutton-based meals and more. With a variety of dishes to suit all dietary preferences and lifestyles, one is sure to have lots of fun exploring and tasting the flavors of the country. 


A local favourite, plov, is rice served with meat, fish or fruit. The saffron-flavoured rice is cooked with lots of fresh herbs, vegetables, dried fruits and more. Some cooking books offer over 40 different versions of Plov. The dish is highly regarded, so much so that there is even an International Plov festival to celebrate this hearty meal. Every Azerbaijani holiday, whether it is the celebration of springtime – Novruz Bayram, or a special occasion such as a birthday or any other important family event, always includes plov.


Pakhlava, symbolizes stars in the sky, is a festive dish made for Novruz - the traditional celebration of the coming of spring. The classic pakhlava is cut into diamonds and is sure to be relished by gourmands. In Sheki, it is in known as halva, which comes in squares, while in Gabala it is triangular and called “uchgulag”, which translates into three ears. 

Caviar and Fish

Caspian fish has its own special taste and is best served with narsherab (pomegranate sauce). The most famous fish in Azerbaijan is the Beluga sturgeon. Known as one of the world`s most expensive delicacies, the Beluga sturgeon doesn’t reach its reproductive age till they are about 20 years old. 


The ultimate way to experience traditional Azerbaijani food is at a caravanserai. These were the hotels of the medieval merchants travelling through the Silk Road, and now offer sumptuous banquets with a flare.


There is extensive archeological information suggesting that the people inhabiting the territory of present-day Azerbaijan had developed viticulture. Some relevant artefacts related to the ancient wine production in modern Azerbaijan (as bowls, recipients etc.) have been excavated from the ruins of medieval towns and cities.

Azerbaijan’s viticulturists developed many valuable varieties each of which were adapted to the soil and climate conditions in different parts of the country. The varied terrain of its fast-improving wineries across the country results in a myriad of flavours and bouquets. The most famous are Caspian Coast, Fireland Vineyards, Yarimada, Hacihetemli, Savalan, Hillside, and Agsu pomegranate wine.

If there’s one thing Azerbaijanis take seriously, it is their tea, which is even considered a national drink. It has an irreplaceable spot in the Azerbaijani cuisine and in the everyday life of the locals. Tourists often stock up on the fantastic teas available in the country.