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Besides the cultural heritage, nature and entertainment, your trip will be more impressive in case it is accompanied with the local-traditional cuisine – food and drink, dances and music.
Armenians have been proactively creating, improving and sharing their experiences with their cuisine, dances and music, maintaining them alive, modern but with traditional elements & values.
This article only shares a general idea about the Armenian food and drink; take a trip to Armenia and get impressed yourselves.
You will realize the great variety of bred in Armenia but you may be more impressed with the Armenian Lavash & Matnakash, both prepared in Armenia for the first time ever.
Lavash is a light kind of diet bred used in different styles, standard, food wrapped to eat or even transfer; a perfect option for quick & easy nutrition.
Do not miss the opportunity of discovering the secrets behind preparation of Lavash; it is cooked in a tandoor called “tonir, թոնիր” – discover the rest yourselves. The newly baked Lavash is delicious with cheese and herbs. A characteristic of Lavash is that you can store the dried ones for more than months and reuse them dried or by humidifying.
Lavash & Matnakash are baked in all regions and areas of Armenia.
The Barbeque, khorovats or kebab
What you are used to call barbeque or шашлык has completely different understanding among Armenians; different approach, different ingredients.
Barbeque is an integral of the Armenian culture; in Historical Armenia, every region and village used to have their own technique and approach for barbeque. Almost everything may be barbequed – all types of meat, vegetables or even a mixture of both. Fish BBQ has own understanding and importance among Armenians. The BBQ prepared in tandoors where Lavash is baked is also very delicious.
Do not miss the opportunity to eat BBQ in mountains; you will taste delicious BBQ in Syunik region. There is a local family in Goris City which is preparing BBQ every day since 1971 as a family business. To find them, just ask for “Vazo’s place” or Vivas Hotel.
The Greek historian Xenophon stated in his Anabasis that Armenians used to drink bear in the 4th century BC, while other sources state about the wine culture among Armenians. Lately, the oldest winepress aging about 6000 years was discovered in Areni 1 cave in Armenia. It is not surprising that wine making center of Armenia is located in the same region, Areni village.
They used to drink a great amount of wine by clay cups in the Historical Armenia; they used to store and age the wine in special barrels, underground.
Vodka was also consumed in The Historical Armenia, in some regions even more than the wine. The home-made vodka is of a high popularity among Armenians and also tourists. Do not miss the opportunity to taste home-made vodka distilled from mulberry, peach, apricot, and grape.
Apricot vodka of Ararat valley, mulberry vodka of Goris & Artsakh is of a high popularity. You can also purchase vodka bottled in local and international well-known producers from supermarkets.
Dolma is a tradition Armenian food; the symbol of wealth, caring of the host towards guests, In brief, dolma is a combination of the core ingredients such as meet & herbs wrapped in vine or cabbage leaves, with different seasonings in. There are several different types of dolma both in terms of the core ingredients (beans, lentils, peas, groats) and the shell (tomato, potato, eggplant).
Dolma is usually consumed with yogurt which shall be mixed with garlic and other spices.
To cut short, keep dolma on the top of your list to taste in Armenia, almost in all restaurants.
Legends state that Khash has been a meal for labors and the poor which achieved popularity among the rich later on. Along with its originality, kash is kind of heavily digestable; even the process of preparing the plate by filling it with dried Lavash, pooring the Kash on, pooring the garlic and eating the mixture again with Lavash instead of a spoon is interesting. Kash is also accompanied with several shots of vodka.
Just follow traditions and enjoy the meal.
Gata with stuffing
Armenian stuffed Gata is a delicious type of cookie or cake you will absolutely get in love with. Although you will find Gata everywhere, try to taste the home-baked ones. Gata is prepared by sweet dough stuffed with sweeter core. You will come across with different types of Gata while visit Garni Temple and Geghard Monastery.