Aaron in Azerbaijan

Just another blog about Azerbaijan.

Pomegranate is Wonderful

with 5 comments

You haven’t lived if you haven’t eaten Azerbaijani pomegranate, commonly known here as nar.  I think it’s possibly one of my favorite features of Azerbaijan.  The nar is plentiful.  And everyone has nar trees.  And it’s a lot easier to say nar than it is to say pomegranate, not to mention typing it.

While I think the POM Wonderful people have a great thing going, they’ve got nothing on Azerbaijani nar.  Just the other night, my host dad pulled out a nar fruit, squeezed and massaged it for a few minutes, and just like that there was fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice on the table.  Every time we have nar, it’s nearly guaranteed that he’s going to tell us that it’s good for your heart and for your blood, which I think it is (Check here at National Geographic, and here at WebMD.  Maybe heart disease and clogged arteries aren’t a problem here in Azerbaijan?  I’ll have to look into that).  A few details about eating nar here: 1) You eat the seeds, too.  At first, I was wary of eating the seeds, but now I find the crunch particularly satisfying, and a whole lot easier than trying to spit them out.  They also provide needed fiber.  2) Nar juice is a good chaser for vodka.  My host dad insists on it, and the sweet-sour flavor softens up that dry, bitter vodka flavor rather well. 3) Fresh-squeezed nar is good, but it helps to store it with a little salt, to preserve it and bring out its full flavor.

The reason I’m writing about this is that we’re at the end of nar season.  It’s colder now, and all the trees have been stripped bare of their luscious nar-fruit.  Nar is noticeably absent from the table now.  And only on special occasions do we break it out.  Oh, nar.


Written by Aaron

December 6, 2009 at 7:38 am

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. Nar season is truly my favorit time of year in the ‘Baijan. while Pom Wonderful is just that…nothing beats living with a family whos entire yard is a Nar/Apply orchard. fresh every meal.

    congrads on swearathing. may you encounter many gold grillz and hairy xanims in the next 2 years. cheers!

    colleen (ismailli)


    December 9, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    • mmmm, clearly my time here has made it difficult to spell simple things, such as basic fruits.

      APPLE that is, not Apply <—–wtf?


      December 9, 2009 at 7:48 pm

      • One could have an “apply orchard”, right? You know, an orchard that has distinctive apple features. I might incorporate that into my new vocabulary.


        December 29, 2009 at 8:06 am

    • Word–I miss Nar. It’s been absent from the table for too long already. The only consolation here is that it’s Kiwi season. It’s not quite as good, and it doesn’t finish a meal quite as deliciously, but I’ll take it.


      December 29, 2009 at 8:05 am

  2. […] the Caspian, turning the sea into a deep crimson pool of delicious nar juice.  As we all know, pomegranate is wonderful.  It’s return is an occasion to be celebrated (by eating generous amounts of the stuff).  […]

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