Saturday, April 21, 2012

eating in Azerbaijan

Here's the shopping I just did.

German chocolate and marzipan to take to IT guy on Monday as a peace offering so he doesn't hate me. (It won't work. But it's a gesture. Which he'll probably resent because he's on a diet, which I find ridiculous because he's already scrawny but I keep my mouth shut. Because I'm a good friend like that, even though I ratted him out accidentally.)

A rotisserie chicken that I'll use for wraps and then the carcass for soup stock for lentil soup.

Tomatoes and cucumbers for the wraps, for salad, and the tomatoes to go in the borscht I'll make tomorrow. (Tomorrow I'll buy onions and beets and potatoes and cabbage for that.)

A big hunk of meat that will go either for a very large batch of borscht or I'll freeze half for using later.

The white round container: fresh yogurt (qatiq) that I add to many things (soups and musli and such) and enjoy plain. I might also get some "green garlic" and mix it up as a lavash spread.

Lavash, a flat bread that I'm currently obsessed with. Like a very thin tortilla. Nobody else that I know does this, but I wrap everything up in it. A perfect dinner for me is a "choban salat" (cucumbers and tomatoes), some fresh cheese, some greens like tarragon, all wrapped up in a piece of lavash. I plan to eat this extensively for the rest of my time here until I'm sick of it, and I'll add some olives to the mix.

Suzme pendir I'm hoping is the soft fresh cheese I had up north that I can add fresh herbs to and have as a lavash spread to eat with fresh vegetables.

White cheese, known as pendir here, for wrapping in lavash or having with salad or eating slices of plain. I don't know the fat content. I wish I did. But I think it's pretty low, because I cannot eat most cheese due to the fat and this doesn't bother me. Ditto for the suzme and yogurt. Their cream though, qaymaq, I don't even try to eat (it's heavy fat) except as a special treat in a hotel, lightly put on a hunk of white bread with a layer of local honey on top.

Greens: a big bunch of tarragon (which I never want to live without again - it's so amazing - I"ll put it in the wraps, in the salad, and I need to find another use for), a big bunch of dill (for tomorrow's borscht and also to get added to the suzme as a spreadable cheese to put on a wrap with salad), and a mystery green that is deep red. (No idea what it is and when I asked the guy in Russian he didn't understand a word I said and kept shouting prices at me. I like the taste and it is great in wraps, and I figure with the deep red it's gotta have good antixoxidants.)


Slivki is a Russian light cream (10% fat) that I use as half and half in my coffee. For whatever reason, regular milk just doesn't cut it for me - I want just a little bit more fat to make my coffee amazing. Fat carries taste, after all, and I'm not afraid of fat - I just don't want to eat more than I need.

Musli cereal for pretty cheap (which I like with kefir, but I already had so many dairy products I couldn't make myself buy more). I'm trying to figure out a new breakfast routine and I might try this but I have doubts it'll keep me sustained throughout a morning. I need to work out a snack routine too, but ... well, it's always been an issue for me.

Anyway, this is the way I typically eat here.

(Our snarky driver said I shouldn't bother learning Azeri words for food since I'll leave soon and expats just eat pizza anyway.)