Colorful Pomegranate Festival held in Goychay [PHOTO]
By Narmina Mammadova
A pomegranate festival was opened in the city of Goychay, which receives guests from the country and from abroad for the thirteenth time this year.
The pomegranate festival, organized by the Ministry of Culture and Azerbaijan, the Goychay Region Executive Authority and AzNar, is distinguished not only by the magnificent and original dishes from different varieties of pomegranate, but also by extraordinary spirit of this national holiday, Trend Life reported.
Pomegranate (in the Azerbaijani language – “nar”) is a unique fruit, and Azerbaijan is the only country in the world where all varieties of pomegranate grow. The bright juicy fruit has firmly become a symbol of Azerbaijan a long time ago. Poems and songs were laid, hymns were devoted to it. In Azerbaijan, pomegranate is called the king of fruits.
The two-day festival opened with the participation of music and dance groups. The pomegranate festival is one of the most long-awaited and enjoyable events in Azerbaijan. The guests are presented with an exposition of products from pomegranate, an exhibition of works, a fair-sale, a concert with the participation of popular performers and folklore groups, various competitions, for example, for the heaviest garnet by weight or pressing juice. The guests of the holiday feel care and attention of the locals: not a single seller at the fair will disregard the person strolling past his tray. You will surely be invited to try something unusual and unique. You will not find tastier than pomegranate juice or baked pomegranate slices in whole Azerbaijan.
About 40,000 tons of sweet fruits, which are then transported around the world, are collected in the gardens of Azerbaijan every year. Nevertheless, the most delicious, fresh pomegranates and various dishes from them can be tasted only here - at the Pomegranate Festival in the Goychay region. All 55 species of Azerbaijani pomegranate found grow in Goychay. The most famous varieties of pomegranate - "Veles", "Shirin", "Guleysha", "Shikhbaba" - are presented in large amount here. The difference between these varieties is thin peel and large grains.
Local mistresses know how to cook "narsharab" - a traditional gravy for meat and fish dishes based on pomegranate, one of the secrets of Azerbaijani cuisine. "Narsharab" is translated as "pomegranate wine", but at the same time there is not a drop of alcohol in the gravy. Its recipe is simple: pomegranate grains are poured into a vat over the fire and slowly boiled, juicing. A few hours later the gravy is salted and removed from the heat. Despite the simplicity of the recipe, the most delicious "narsharab" is obtained only from Goychay masters.
Craftsmen, artisans, potters, millers, blacksmiths, artists and dance groups, performances of athletes and folk groups, children’s drawings and paintings by artists, music, songs and dances remain in the memory of guests for a long time.
Holiday tables, laden with the abundance of various dishes prepared using pomegranate, including pies, desserts, jams and salads, and even pizza prepared according to a special recipe with the addition of pomegranate seeds, can strike the imagination of the most sophisticated gourmet. And, of course, many contests, for example, competition for the “rank” of the largest pomegranate, the fastest eater of pomegranates and the ability to squeeze pomegranate juice. By the way, pomegranates are even used to predict fate and love adventures.
The juice of the pomegranate is not only tasty, but also very healthy. Pomegranates are used in traditional medicine, recommending as help with a variety of ailments, including a combat poor appetite. So, for example, the pulp is used to improve the appetite. Decoction of the root is used as an anesthetic, juice is helpful for people who suffer from anemia, for diabetics and used to stabilize the pressure. The pomegranate peel is for normalization of digestion.
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