ARMENIAN NATIONAL CUISINE
We are proud of Armenia's brilliant sunshine, perfumed air, glowing rainbows, graceful traditions and warm smiles. But what really makes us beautiful is our delicious national cuisine.
The culinary renaissance now is taking place throughout Armenia, where the food reflects a healthy combination of the ancient and the modern. Armenian cuisine is far more sophisticated than it used to be. Creative young chefs are adding new chapters to traditional cooking.
The best way to explore the various flavors and combinations of the region's cooking is to begin with its history. So let's start...
The origin of Armenian cuisine dates back to pagan times. It was one of the most ancient agricultural centers. The archaeologists found many evidences which allow us to think this way. It is known that in epoch of Urartu (in 782 BC) the wine-making culture in Armenia had a high quality and had reached a large scale. There were special storehouses named maran for harvested grapes for wine production. Wine was pressed in a huge wooden vat.
A very interesting component of old Armenian cuisine is a kind of bread that is called lavash. From old times it was being prepared in a special cylinder made of clay buried in the ground and called tonir. During our trips to the oldest regions you'll have a unique opportunity to get acquainted with this bread baking ceremony.
One of the old characteristics of our national dishes is their spiciness. Pepper, garlic, chaman and different spicy verdure are largely used. This is caused by a certain conditions of Armenian climate and mountain flora that gives a specific flavor to our cuisine.
Armenia is also known as Tamada's country. No Armenian feast is complete without tamadas - toast makers with rich speech full of philosophy and wisdom. Real Armenian character and traditions are truly expressed in toasts.
Armenia is home to some of the finest recipes of meals you’ll ever find. For example, the peculiarity of Armenian barbecue is in the preparatory marinating. The marinated meat is put on skewers - shampours and roasted over hot coals with no flame. Eating of the other national meal - khash is a real ceremony for Armenians, it starts early in the morning and what is really interesting, no toasts must be made during eating khash. Here is a list of some dishes: kebab, tolma (vegetable, grape leaves and lentil), piti, spas soup, ghapama, ghavourma, harisa, lahmaju, tabule and houmous salads, Iskhan, Siga and other fish dishes, bastourma and soujoukh sausages, lavash, khashlama, shavourma, kjufta and so on. The staffs of the finest restaurants in the city and regions are waiting to satisfy your appetite and interest in this area.
No visit to Armenia is complete without tasting a real Armenian meal called Ghapama (Armenian Pumpkin Stew). The main ingredients are boiled rice, raisins, apples, honey and ground cinnamon. All these are mixed and at the end placed inside a pumpkin. One cannot stand back from Ghapama's final result where the appearance is impressive as the views...
And don't forget to mention about a dozen of Armenian wines, brandy and vodka made of mulberry and cornel; finally, fruits full of spices and the smell of sun.
Many exotic delicacies are prepared out of grape juice. One of them is Sharots (sujukh). First a savoring dark cherry-colored syrup is cooked which is called doshab. Later a thick floury jelly is made with variety of spices. Then a picturesque ceremony follows. Pieces of walnut threaded on a string are dipped in the jelly. Afterwards the strings are hung to dry. Villagers preserve these strings for winter.
We offer meals in the best restaurants and cafes at each exotic destination. Continental breakfast, lunch and dinner, which are usually a combination of traditional European and local national dishes, will be also available. Due to the most different restaurants like Italian, Chinese, French, Syrian, Lebanese, Indian, Mexican, Russian etc in Yerevan you can feel yourself in each part of the world.
Well, if you are one of those people who love to discover culinary adventures, Armenia is just the right place!
So pull up a chair and get ready for a great meal. Bon appetite!