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Taste of Afghanistan

 

Welcoming Remarks

 

Embassy of Afghanistan, Washington DC, 07/05/08

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

We are honored to have you all here as our guests at the Embassy of Afghanistan to focus on another aspect of Afghanistan: Afghan Cuisine. Thank you for joining us in this celebration of Afghan cuisine and culture and to kickoff a summer-long celebration of Afghanistan and the Silk Road.

 

Washington, a cosmopolitan city, is truly the perfect setting for the US premiere of Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum Kabul, which resemble the modern history of Afghanistan. A rich heritage and old culture covered by ashes of recent years of war and neglect.

 

Afghanistan is a mosaic of Western and Eastern culture, everyone from Alexander the Great to Buddhist monks to the rajas of India have contributed to our history.

 

Now, back to the food. Afghan food is the world’s oldest experience with “fusion cuisine.” It combines elements of Greek, Indian, Persian, Mediterranean, Chinese and Turkish food. Saffron, cardamom, coriander and cumin all passed through Afghanistan and the Silk Road during their journey to season the food of the ancient world.

 

The dishes you will eat tonight are an excellent reflection of the diversity of Afghan food. The colorful rice dishes are a staple of almost every Afghan feast and wedding.

 

Afghans are also very fond of dairy products, most sauces are made with yogurt. Afghan bread, called nan, is the best in the region, and the only rule to baking it is “bigger is better.”