Armenian cuisine reflects the traditions and the history of ancient Armenia. It is considered to be one of the oldest one in Asia and Transcaucasia. It proves the fact that still 2500 years ago the Armenians knew how to bake bread and make a barbecue.
Armenian National Dishes
The Armenian dishes are famous for their special taste and spicy flavors. The most popular dishes are made of meat. The most important and special dish of every Armenian table is the barbecue. It is made with pork, lamb, beef or chicken in the addition of different species and served with traditional Armenian “Lavash”.
The other traditional dish of Armenian cuisine is the famous “Tolma” or “Dolma”. We have more than 50 types of traditional Dolma. It is considered to be the second main dish of Armenian tables. It is made with cabbage leaves, or grape leaves, rice, minced meat and other species. We also use vegetables (pepper, eggplant, tomato) instead of cabbage leaves. Wrap the leaves around the minced meat and rice and cook it with olive oil.
The fish has its special place in Armenian cuisine. The locals like to make fish, especially “Ishkhan”, “Taraph” “Sig”. Besides that Armenians have a special festival; dedicated to fish. In that festival, each restaurant and private cooks present their own handmade fish. It takes part in Abovyan town, where everyone can participate, see how the cooks make fish and of course, the participants eat delicious fish dishes.
Maybe the most traditional dish in Armenia is “Khash”. We love “ Khash”, though it has a long making process. This dish is made of boiled cow’s feet (cleaned, without the smell). Armenians love to eat Khash, especially in the early mornings. The traditional Lavash is also part of this tasty food; they serve the “Khash” mainly with dry Lavash and radishes, of course, it becomes tastier with vodka.
The traditional soups have also their special place in our cuisine. “Harissa” is one of the tastiest hot meals in Armenian cuisine. It is made with chicken meat and wheat. The Armenians have many kinds of soups and salads, especially for vegans. The special soup made with “Aveluk” is the popular dish in Armenia and we have also a very tasty salad made with “ Aveluk” which is an edible herb which has many healthy features.
Desserts of Armenian cuisine
Besides all the delicious dishes, Armenians have delicious and sweet desserts that attract everyone. The traditional Armenian sweet cakes are “Gata” and “Pakhlava” which are the decoration of any Armenian traditional table.
The Armenian “Gata” is not only traditional dessert but also has a great importance in Armenian cuisine. Armenians say that “Gata is not a simple food, it decorates every festive table, has the meaning of the luck and success”. It has a special round shape and with special symbols. They say that in ancient times the Armenian Grandmothers designed the Gata with the help of fork even with a cross which means they get rid of evil. Some people claim that Gata symbolizes the strength of the family.
The other popular dessert is the “Pakhlava”; it is layered pastry with chopped walnuts, syrup or honey. It has really delicious taste, especially when it serves with hot tea. The other sweet dessert of Armenian cuisine is the sweet “Sujukh” or Armenian Snickers. It is a special dessert made with walnuts, “Doshab”, and sugar.
Dried fruits are another feature of cuisine. They are an inseparable part of every Armenian festive table. The Armenian women are always busy in summer just because they make different jams for the winter. The Armenian grandmothers make the tastiest jams with different fruits and berries.