Aaron in Azerbaijan

Just another blog about Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan in Wisconsin?

with one comment

For those of you who are currently buried in Wisconsin winter (and generally for the entire US, I guess, since everyone is getting hit with the winter chill this year), I recommend that you make a big pot of steaming Dovğa.  A warm bowl or a hot cup of dovğa goes a long way in fighting off that chill.  This is a popular dish all over Azerbaijan in the chilly months, and it’s nice any time of day.

That great recipe (with pictures!) is part of this appropriately-named new find: The Girls’ Guide to Guns and Butter.  Brought to my attention by a friend of the blog, this is a blog written by Sofya, an Azerbaijani Baku Jew who has improbably found her way to Viroqua, WI.  Did you read that just one time and believe it?  I had to comb through her entire site to rid myself of that nagging feeling I was being misled.  Viroqua, Wisconsin?

With her love of hunting, butter, and a fearless approach to mastering new dishes, Sofya is a bit of a cross between Sarah Palin and Julia Child. She grew up in the Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, but by the age of 23 found her way to the beautiful Driftless Region of Wisconsin, where she made a home on a ten-acre farm together with her husband Jacob and their two children. While she is at home with the traditional American cookery, a lot of her recipes are influenced by her native Russian and Azerbaijani cuisines.

Apparently, Sofya is a Baku Jew transplanted by way of Bulgaria to small-town Wisconsin.  Viroqua doesn’t even approach the size of the small mountain town-christened-city of Lerik, to say nothing of the metropolis Baku.  Yet, looking back on some of the pictures from the hike a month back in Lerik, some of those scenes approach Wisconsin-like natural beauty (you could probably get way with ‘surpass’, but what can I say?  I’m a homer).

I’m not going to comment on the Sarah Palin part, but I enjoy the site, and I’m extremely pleased that there is a fantastic dovğa recipe there for you to try out, among others.  I’m happy to point out that she is a dedicated follower of the The Pioneer Woman, as well (The Pioneer Woman has made this recipe famous in my home here).  And this grows my list of American Azerbaijani cooking blogs to two!

For some more background on our friend Sofya, check out this piece in the Chicago Reader.  Who can resist a headline that reads, “Viroqua, WI: Azerbaijani city girl meets Wisconsin farm boy, makes sweet fusion cuisine”?


Written by Aaron

February 3, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. You are funny Aaron, did you think I was not real? Do you think there are people in the world who know of existence of both Viroqua and Azerbaijan and would ever dream of consciously combining the two?

    If you are in Azerbaijan, the herbs I used to buy for dovga are: shujud (dill), turshu (sorrel), yashil sogah (green onions/scallions), ispanak (spinach), kyaver (garlic chives – I think that’s the English name), and kechnish (cilantro) – 3 more than in the recipe on my site. But it’s winter in Wisconsin and fresh garlic chives and sorrel don’t exist. I hope I remember all the names right. It’s been years.

    Well enjoy your Orientalist experience.

    Sofya, the unlikely one


    February 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm

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