Tours to Armenia will be incomplete without trying Armenian traditional dishes. The National kitchen is an important component of tourism development. The roots of Armenian kitchen go back deep into the history and its features are due to the different historical, geographical, climatic and even historical-political factors. Meat dominates in the recipes of the dishes, and canned food and dried fruits will amaze even the most demanding taste. And what people feel with the palate, it is the last to forget. Tours to Armenia will give the opportunity to taste foods from different regions. Even the same dish can vary from region to region with its combination of flavor. There are some dishes that is a must to try from this unique cuisine.
The first must-try dish is dolma. This mandatory component of Armenian festive tables has more than 50 types. It is made of meat or vegetables, stuffed and wrapped in grape leaves, cabbage or greens leaf. The best way to try as more types of dolma as possible is to book a tour in a tour agency in Armenia and take part in Dolma festival while visiting Armenia in spring.
Next is harissa which is made of wheat groats and chicken, lamb or beef cooked with water, then whisked until it becomes a viscous mass. Melted butter is added during eating. In ancient times harissa was considered a ritual and festive meal. It was made for solemn days such as wedding, folk festivals, etc. After cooking it in a tandoor in a jar all night long, most often it was served to the table on Sunday morning.
One of the oldest dishes is khash. Beef legs (as well as pork, lamb or even chicken legs) and ventricle are the main ingredients of khash. After cleaning and washing the ingredients (in Armenia traditionally they put them under running water for 10-12 hours), it is boiled for 6-8 hours. Garlic, salt and herbs are served at the table to spice the food. Khash is traditionally eaten in the morning before breakfast or instead of it. In some regions of Armenia it is eaten with hands, crumbling dry lavash in it. Khash is traditionally eaten during cold weather, particularly in winter.
Ghapama is an interesting combination of ingredients which is more frequently made during New Year and Easter. Ghamapa is a pumpkin stuffed with rice, dried fruits, raisins and nuts, etc.
Thal is probably the tastiest way for meat canning. In ancient times our ancestors made thal and used it until spring. Beef or mutton is cooked, then met is separated from bones, the meat is roasted in oil until it becomes red, put it in pipkin or enamelled pot and pour hot melted on it. Thal is mainly used in the winter. Meat is eaten hot or cold, as well as use for cooking various dishes. Despite the time-consuming process of preparing Thal, it is an excellent way to preserve meat for a long time.
6. Bread of jengyal
Although bread with jengyal is typical to cuisines of Karabakh, Kapan and Goris, it is loved and made in the whole territory of Armenia. Bread of jengyal is a flat bread made of about 25 kinds of greens. Greens may differ according to regions and taste. Bread of jengyal can be served with red wine, beer, or tahn ( a yoghurt-based drink from the Middle East).
Well, after trying so many delicious meals while visiting Armenia, hardly could you forgot the impressions. If you have the chance to try national dishes made in an Armenian family while taking tours to Armenia with tour agencies, probably the housewife will share her culinary secrets with you, and who knows, maybe one day you’ll also cook Armenian dishes.