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"Kata" festival finished

In the ancient Nakhchivan region, great attention is paid to the preservation and promotion of national and spiritual values, folklore, traditions, including national cuisine. Holding national culinary days that have already become a tradition, introducing these delicacies decorating our tables, handing down them the next generations is crucial.

Interest in two days' "Kata" festival which started on April 7 at the Historical-Architectural Museum Complex "Nakhchivangala" was great. 23 public catering facilities and 130 individuals participated in the festival. City residents and guests enjoyed and got the opportunity to watch the preparation of various kinds of kata (flat pie with greens) and taste them.

On the last day of the festival, the results of the competition in the nomination "The most delicious kata" were announced. According to the appearance, variety and taste of the products selected by the jury, the winner of the festival, the second and third places are elected. Mirgasim Eminov from Sharur region won the first place, Aygun Mahmudova from Shahbuz region, Nazila Allahverdiyeva, the employee of "Bullur" public catering facility, were the second, Rahila Jalilova from Babak region and Pakiza Ismayilova from Kangarli region were the third place in the competition "The most delicious kata". The winners were awarded diplomas and the book "Nakhchivan cuisine".

We talked to Mirgasim Eminov, the winner of the competition, the resident of Yukhari Yayji village, Sharur region. He said: - Nakhchivan kata of shomu, mixed greens, asphodel, nettle, pumpkin, lentil, bean, nut, halva and sweet are very popular. The types of kata with wild plants which can be eaten in the early spring have a special place in Nakhchivan cuisine. Kata prepared with these plants are very useful for the human body.

We are preparing kata with the most delicious greens grown at our mountains, - said Bayim granny, a resident of that village, and talked about the bean kata that was loved by everyone and cooked especially on the last day of Novruz in Sharur:

- First, the seeds of the beans are sorted out and dried. The dough of this kata is different from the others. Flour, butter, milk, yeast and yellow ginger are mixed, kneaded and waiting for the dough. Then the bean seeds and lentils are well boiled and filtered. It was minced together with the precooked onion. The stuffing was put into the dough, flattened, then egg yolk was put on it and cooked in the tandir (oven made of clay in a hole in the earth). She also told that it is one of the oldest types of kata  in Nakhchivan cuisine.

My interlocutors thanked for the state's care. They stated that the continual holding of such events played a major role in preserving the cuisine samples of our people.

Another interviewer, Pakiza Ismayilova, a resident of Kangarli region, who won the third place in the competition, talked about the taste of plants and kata prepared with them. She said that they gathered these wild plants themselves at the mountains. They are rich in minerals, so the kata made with them is useful.

Kamala Aliyeva, from the Sadarak region, informed us on why the "lazy" kata is called so: "According to legend, one day the king walked in the city, accidentally visited an old man's house. This man also had a lazy daughter. The father saw the king's arrival, so he ordered his daughter to prepare a meal. The lazy girl mixed all the greens in the house and cooked kata. The king liked it very much. After that day, he asked for the girl's hand in marriage and married her. Since then, the name of this kata has been "lazy" kata.

At the festival, we also met with members of the jury. Turkay Safarzadeh, director of the "Nakhchivan Cuisine" Culinary Center of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic said:

- Along with various meals, Nakhchivan cuisine is well-known for its kata. There are about 20 types of kata in our local cuisine. They are prepared lovingly in our cuisine so far.

Turkay Safarzadeh also said that although jury members had a difficulty choosing the best kata in the "The most delicious kata" competition, we tried to be fair. During the selection, we also took into consideration the interests of those who came to the festival, along with a number of features.

Nakhchivan cuisine is distinguished for its uniqueness. It is of great importance to hold these festivals for introducing the variety of kata preserved in our cuisine since ancient times for its unique taste. The vast majority of participants in the festival and the diversity of the products, as well as the great interest of the local people and foreign guests to the festival, once again proved the importance of organizing such events in terms of promoting our rich folk creativity, national values and unique cuisine.

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Date: 17-08-2022
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