By Laman Ismayilova
For all the centuries-old history of Islam has developed its specific features of cooking and rules for eating. In different Muslim countries, these customs, in general, common to all Muslims, may have their own local traditions.
Muslim cuisine is surprisingly diverse, as it absorbed the best culinary traditions of many countries. Nowadays, the Muslim menu is getting richer with new recipes, including Western dishes.
Days of Islamic cuisine is a great holiday for the entire Muslim world, the opportunity to show their professional abilities, improve their skills, promote national dishes.
The first World Islamic Culinary Congress was held in Baku as part of the Days of Islamic Cuisine.
The project was co-organized by the World Islamic Culinary Association (WICS), the State Tourism Agency, the National Culinary Association and the Culinary Center. The congress, that brings together representatives from 25 countries, features the Days of Islamic Cuisine, an exhibition of Hilal products, the second International Championship of Islamic Cuisine, WICS category trainings and much more. The culinary project aims at the opening of a WICS office in Baku.
WICS President Gokhan Tufan noted the significance of holding the first World Congress of Islamic Cooking in Azerbaijan.
"A lot of international festivals and competitions are held in Azerbaijan, projects are being implemented in various fields, which are aimed at promoting universal values. Azerbaijan has great prestige in the Muslim world, religiously honors Islamic traditions, protects ancient monuments of architecture and builds mosques, it is a country of free religion, tolerance and multiculturalism," he said.
"Muslim cuisine is so diverse and contains so many traditions that since the Middle Ages, the culinary tastes of Muslims living in different parts of the world were very different from each other. Muslim dishes have absorbed the best features of various traditions and gastronomical passions of the peoples of the world, and the recipes of dishes are distinguished by delicacy and incredible taste," said Tufan.
President of the National Culinary Association, the head of the National Culinary Center Tahir Amiraslanov stressed that the state pays special attention and care to the development of national culinary, thanks to which Azerbaijan's dolma and lavash are included in UNESCO World Heritage List.
"Azerbaijani national cuisine is notable for its great diversity, including hundreds of different kinds of dishes, and the methods of cooking and eating are varied and diverse. Foreign guests always celebrate the special taste of our dishes, and the chefs constantly achieve success in the international arena. Our kitchen is so diverse and full of unique recipes that everyone can find in it their favorite dishes," said Amiraslanov.
He stressed that a culinary book titled "Dolma in Azerbaijani cuisine. 381 recipes" has been included in the top three best culinary books of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
For the first time, restaurants and culinary specialists will be awarded the international Islamic quality mark "Hilal Star". This quality mark will be awarded annually to only one country.
President of the Russian Culinary Association Viktor Belyaev also addressed the event.
"I am very familiar with Islamic cuisine, because for more than 30 years I worked as a cook in the Kremlin and prepared dishes for top officials of Muslim countries who visited our country on a visit. It is a great honor for me to be the chairman of the jury, and the Days of Islamic Cuisine are a great celebration for the entire Muslim world, the opportunity to show their professional abilities, improve their skills, and promote national dishes, " he said.
Another highlight of the project is the participation of the famous chef Stalic Khankishiev with six finalists of the project "Azerbaijani cuisine on YouTube channel".
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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