We trekked up to Baltimore for this week’s cuisine in order to go to a uniquely Azerbaijani restaurant AND to catch the Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race. The Kinetic Sculpture Race is a land and water course where human-powered sculptures (like the caterpillar above) race. This event is pretty much a conglomeration of everything we love:
1. Crazy costumes
2. Dedication to art/hilarious ideas
3. Large/insane projects that take an absurd amount of planning
Whoever came up with the idea for the first kinetic sculpture race was a genius. Pure genius.
Speaking of large/insane projects that take a lot of planning… after watching the sculptures launch into the harbor, we headed up to Owings Mills, MD for this week’s PIG Project destination: Azerbaijan.
We found an authentic Azeri restaurant called Kavkaz Kebab.
As you might expect, Azeri food tastes like a mix between Russian and Turkish food.
Neil had his lamb kebab & a tasty spinach Kutabi with yogurt that was quite succulent.
I started off with a extra poofy phyllo dough pastry filled with cheese called a Khachapuri (Azerbaijan’s neighbor Georgia’s national dish).
I also had a “grilled eggplant salad” with tandori bread & stole some surprisingly delightful “Lobio Salad” from Kevin. It had kidney beans, walnuts, cilantro, garlic, olive oil & “spices.” Oh, man it was so tasty!
We topped it off with a delicious cookie with a surprising sugar-coated inside & baklava. The baklava was very different than those I’ve tried before it was very moist and the layers were not at all pastry like. It was quite delicious.
We had an amazing day. Way to be hardcore Carrie, Adam & Kevin. Studying for finals is for the faint of heart!
I have been seeing these posters in the metro this Spring, so I have been wanting to find out more about Azerbaijan.
It turns out, just like Armenia wants the world to remember the crimes perpetrated against them by Turkey, Azerbaijan wants the world to remember a massacre of Azerbaijani civilians by Armenian forces in 1992. Here is the website they advertise. There continues to be intense territorial disputes with Armenia about an Azerbaijani region that is primarily populated by Armenians, Nagorno Karabakh. The region is still occupied by Armenian forces to this day, although there has been a cease-fire since 1994.
Azerbaijan was the first democratic parliamentary republic in the Muslim world, founded in 1918. Azerbaijan encompasses approximately 33,436 sq mi – roughly the size of Maine. The official language is Azerbaijani – a derivative of Turkish – though much of the nation also speaks Russian. Our waitress was actually from Russia, so we were not able to grill her on Azerbaijan. I asked if we could talk to the Azerbaijani cook, but she said he didn’t speak any English. Language barriers aside, it was a delightful meal. One of the best so far!
We’re at the end of the As….except, before we can celebrate conquering all of the As, we must finish Australia… it is, after all, not only a country but also a continent, which makes it too important to skip!