The Azeri Ministry of Culture and Tourism is getting ready to include the recipe of traditional dolma, a stuffed vegetable dish common all across the Middle East, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia, in an official UNESCO document, said Abulfas Garayev, the Azeri Minister of Culture and Tourism.
"It's not a secret to anybody that the neighboring country [Armenia] not only has claims over the territory of Azerbaijan, but also tries to appropriate the culture of our country, including the national cuisine," Garayev said.
"They [the Armenians] asked for the inclusion of pita bread to the UNESCO list of cultural heritage. Wasn't that the appropriation?" — the Azeri minister said.
That's why to protect its own cultural heritage, Azerbaijan is doing what it has to by sending its own application to the UNESCO, Garayev explained.
It's pretty amusing that both countries try to claim dolma and pita bread as their own national cuisine, considering that both of these foods are so widespread across Eurasia that it would probably be impossible to prove which nation began making them first.