Ashgabat stages an exhibition entitled “Dishes of the 2017 Asian Games”

Making a tour of the Ashgabat Olympic Complex, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov has attended an exhibition entitled Dishes of the 2017 Asian Games, timed to mark the 30-day countdown to the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.

Festivities to celebrate Turkmen Melon Day and honor melons (which have been nicknamed The Queen of the Field) were well underway in the Complex. To mark the occasion, exhibitions of melons and pavilions were arranged in the Olympic Complex to showcase the best products of melon growers and breeders from all over the country � golden melons of elite varieties, watermelons with green skins and stripes, large pumpkins, and the products made from them.

Upon arrival at the Olympic Complex, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov was welcomed by the Mejlis Chairperson, government members, leaders of military and law enforcement agencies, representatives of the diplomatic missions accredited to Turkmenistan, the general public, mass media and numerous guests, including foreign journalists.

In a conversation with foreign diplomats, the head of state shared his opinion on the significance of the festive events, told about the Olympic Complex's facilities provided with everything necessary to ensure a high degree of organization of the Ashgabat 2017 Games, to bring great enjoyment and put every participant in a festive mood, filling them with unforgettable emotions from the sporting competitions, to create the atmosphere of friendship, and to extend generous Turkmen hospitality.

The dean of the diplomatic corps in Turkmenistan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Arab Emirates Hasan Abdullah Al Adab Al Zarouni has stressed that every country chooses its own model of state development, and Turkmenistan ever since its independence has proved the viability of its way of development and has been demonstrating its increasing efficiency.

Preparations for the Ashgabat 2017 Games can serve as an excellent example of this. The ambassador mentioned that he had been to many countries; however he had never witnessed such a strong sense of responsibility the people of Turkmenistan feel towards the multi-sport event. The diplomat also noted that the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games would be a momentous event in sporting diplomacy, having united a record number of athletes and delegations, and a refugee team for the first time ever.

Focusing on the festivities while proceeding along melons and watermelons on display, the head of Turkmenistan told the diplomats about growing methods of melons and their varieties in each region of the country, as well as the best storage conditions.

The exhibition entitled Dishes of the 2017 Asian Games was arranged in an athletes' dining facility, a two-story building with 2,064-seat spacious halls across the two floors, elevators, and escalators.

The show featured the national cuisine and culinary traditions of 64 countries competing in the Games, the teams of refugees and two brotherly countries � Azerbaijan and Turkey. Staff members of some twenty restaurants directly managed by the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan took part in the organization of the national cuisine festival.

Along with leading Turkmen master chefs under the supervision of Gul Zaman, the Gourmet Sports Hospitaliti AG (Switzerland) had the opportunity to participate in the event. These two companies have been entrusted to do the catering services for the 2017 Asian Games participants.

In a first brightly decorated hall, the Turkmen cuisine with the largest exposition was on display. The table with a snow-white tablecloth and the original setting showcased the very best national dishes: crispy ishlekli (meat pie), mouthwatering gutab with various fillings (pumpkin, spinach, etc.), gatlakly, gAlkli bAlrek, etli bAlrek (dumplings stuffed with greens and meat), nourishing gara chorba and toy chorba (soup), rice pilaf, steaming hot un ash and kokmach, nourishing ground wheat, and others.

Next to the Turkmen dishes, the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Economic Affairs, the State Food Industry Association and private food producers displayed their products.

This part of the exhibition was like a supermarket with shelves full of domestic food products (in fancy packaging) that have won customer confidence and loyalty.

Each country presented from 4 to 6 and more dishes. The Central Asian peoples cook traditional dishes which are rather like, for example, kebab and pilaf; however, the dishes have a distinctly different taste thanks to the unique national ways of cooking, spice mixtures, etc.

The event participants had a chance not only to sample the dishes that caught their eye or their favorite dishes (cooked by Turkmen chefs), original salads and desserts demonstrating true creativity and hard work, but also to order the dish and have it at a comfortable table.

Speaking to the senior officials concerned after the exhibition, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov recommended making desserts for athletes from healthy and highly nourishing locally grown food, such as melons, watermelons and grapes. The leader of nation advised making aromatic herbal teas (with the use of indigenous medicinal herbs).

The services offered to the Ashgabat 2017 Games participants and guests, including food should meet high standards, the nation's leader emphasized. In this connection the head of state instructed nutrition experts to prepare well-balanced diet plans for athletes, given the science-based principles, the type of sport they do, and the impact of some food on physical fitness and athletic performance.

Source: Turkmenistan: the Golden Age Online Newspaper