By Amina Nazarli
Azerbaijan's most picturesque region of Sheki is going to host the second International Festival of National Sweets on July 20.
This festival is promised to be a wild success with its sweet dishes from all over Azerbaijani regions. Such delicious sweets as firni, khashil, sweet pilaf, as well as pastries including pakhlava, fasali, umach and others will be put on display. The festival will also feature such samples of national cuisine as nogul and samani khalvasi.
Representatives of UNESCO, the World Association of Cook Societies, and different international organization will attend the sweet festival.
All around, the event will celebrate Azerbaijan's rich cuisine and traditions in joyful national atmosphere. The event participants will feature their dishes in national customs. The sweets will be put on display in special pavilions equipped with household items, rugs, relating to their place of residence.
Last year the festival brought together representatives of 23 regions of Azerbaijan and 6 countries who offered their national and traditional sweets. Confectioners from Shaki and Kyrgyzstan were named the best of the festival. Second place was taken by chefs from the Shamakhi region of Azerbaijan, Naftalan city, Turkey, and Georgia. Third place went to confectioners from the Gabala, Shamkir, Balakan regions, Ganja city, and Korea.
Sheki is one of the most interesting ancient cities of Azerbaijan, famous for its own sweet Pakhlava, which is made of rice flour, nuts and sugar-honey syrup. Anyone visiting Sheki will not be able to resist the temptation of a Pakhlava.
In anticipation of the event, Baku’s Professional School #12 will organize a festival with the participation of young chefs. The event, devoted to the Republic Day -May 28 and the first ever European Games is scheduled for May 29 at 11:00 am.
The festival has been organized by the Azerbaijan National Cuisine Center, Association National Cuisine, Culture and Tourism Ministry and Education Ministry.
As the biggest sporting event in Azerbaijan's history, the Baku 2015 European Games will attract more than 6,000 athletes to represent 49 countries on June 12-28. During the 17-day event, there will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports.
The Azerbaijani sweet pastries include more than 30 varieties with poppy seeds, walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, ginger, cardamom, which make those treats spicy and especially tasty.
Every region of Azerbaijan has its own special recipe for local sweets, which may even have different shape depending on the traditions of the region.
Pakhlava and shekerbura - adornments of Novruz holiday- are among the most famous Azerbaijani sweets.
Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli
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