By: The PH Team
Iraqi Kurdistan refers to the predominantly Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, officially named the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
The region became autonomous in the early 1990s after conflict broke out with the central government in Baghdad - at the time under the rule of Saddam Hussein.
Over the years, the region has attempted to obtain complete independence to form their own State on a number of occasions, including through referendum which took place in 2017.
Until today however, the region does in fact remain only an autonomous region of Iraq and is not an independence State.
Kurdish breakfast is arguably the best meal in Kurdish cuisine. A typical Kurdish breakfast consists of cheese, butter, olives, eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, jam or marmalade and honey generally eaten on top of kaymak (a creamy dairy product).
Sausage, meats, various baked goods and even soups can be featured in a traditional breakfast in many parts of Kurdistan.
A common Kurdish breakfast specialty is called 'menemen,' which is also found in Turkish cuisine, is a dish prepared with roasted tomatoes, peppers, olive oil and eggs.
Kurdish cuisine consists of a wide variety of foods prepared by the Kurdish people in Greater Kurdistan and around the world.
Kurds share cultural and culinary similarities with their immediate neighbours in other parts of Kurdistan; Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and also in neighbouring Armenia.
Some dishes such as biryani, which is present also in Kurdish cuisine are shared with the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent.
The Kurdish diet includes a wide variety of local fruits and vegetables which are native to the region of Iraqi Kurdistan and Greater Kurdistan as a whole (Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria). Kurdistan is known for the growing and cultivating of grapes, pomegranates, figs, and walnuts, which are quite prevalent in Kurdish cuisine.
Lamb and chicken tend to be the primary meats and pork is not present in traditional Kurdish cuisine. Breakfast is typically flat bread, cheese, honey, sheep's or cow's yogurt, and black tea, which Kurds drink in abundance throughout the day.
In addition, Kurds from most regions of Kurdistan also produce dairy products from sheep's and cow's milk. Kurds make many types of kofta and kubba, dumplings filled with meat.
Kurdish cuisine, like the cuisines of many neighboring regions and cultures, makes abundant use of fresh herbs which are present at most meals.
Traditional Kurdish bread is a white loaf that is baked on a round hot iron, traditionally over and open flame, is eaten with many meals in the same fashion as bread and carbs in other cultures and traditions.
Main dishes in Kurdish cuisine are made of rice, meat, herbs, vegetables and include pastries, savoury pies, a variety of salads, and drinks specific to different parts of Kurdistan.