Armenian cuisine is a true reflection of the country's cultural and historical heritage, featuring a rich blend of flavours, aromas, and ingredients that have been influenced by various civilizations throughout the centuries. From succulent kebabs to hearty stews and savoury flatbreads, Armenian cuisine has something special to offer for every palate. In this blog post, we will explore some of the must-try dishes, markets, and culinary traditions that make Armenia a food lover's paradise.
Lavash is a soft and thin flatbread that is an essential part of Armenian cuisine. It is traditionally baked in underground ovens called tonir, which are made of clay and heated with wood fire. Lavash baking is considered an art form in Armenia, and the process of making it has been passed down from generation to generation. Today, visitors to Armenia can witness this art form in action by visiting a traditional bakery or taking a cooking class. UNESCO has recognized the importance of Lavash as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity, making it an even more valuable part of Armenian culinary culture.
The Gum Market is one of the oldest and most popular markets in Yerevan. It is a bustling bazaar that offers a wide variety of local goods, ranging from spices, dried fruit, candied fruit and nuts, pickles, to fresh fruit and vegetables. However, the real highlight of the Gum Market is its food section, which is a veritable feast for the senses. Here, visitors can sample a wide variety of Armenian delicacies, including fresh fruits, nuts, cheeses, sujuk, and other meats. The market is also a great place to purchase souvenirs and gifts to take back home.
Armenian cuisine is rich in flavour and diversity, with a wide range of dishes to satisfy every taste. Some of the must-try dishes are:
• Khorovats: A type of Armenian barbecue, featuring juicy and tender grilled meat, such as pork, lamb, or beef. It is often served with fresh vegetables, herbs, and lavash.
• Dolma: Dolma is a traditional Armenian dish made of stuffed vine leaves with rice, herbs, and minced meat, and the dish is often served with yogurt or sour cream.
• Harissa: Harissa is a hearty porridge-like dish made of slow-cooked wheat and meat, such as chicken or lamb. It is often flavoured with butter, cinnamon, and sugar, and is a popular comfort food in Armenia.
• Sujuk: A popular dried meat delicacy that is made by marinating long strings of beef or lamb in a mixture of grape molasses and a variety of spices such as cumin, garlic, and paprika. The meat is then hung to dry and is often served sliced thinly as a snack or appetizer.
• Pastourma: This air-dried beef is marinated in a blend of spices, including garlic, fenugreek, and paprika, giving it a rich, savoury flavour. It is often served thinly sliced as an appetizer.
• Zhingyalov hats: Traditional fried flatbread from Artsakh, located in the southeast of the Armenian Highlands. The dough, which is made of flour and sour cream, is filled with seasonal greens such as cilantro, parsley, spring onions, dill, spinach, lettuce, and beet tops.
• Manti: It is a dish of tiny little boats of dough, filled with meat. The dough filling mainly includes ground lamb or beef, shredded onion, and parsley.
• Lahmacun: Thin and crispy flatbread is topped with a spicy mixture of minced lamb or beef, onions, tomatoes, and herbs. It is a popular street food in Armenia and can be found in almost every corner of the city.
Armenian cuisine delights your senses with a variety of exquisite flavours and fragrant spices. With herbs such as basil, mint, cilantro, dill, and parsley, this cuisine creates a symphony of aromas and tastes that will leave you craving more. The spices like paprika, cumin, and coriander are masterfully blended to add depth and complexity to dishes such as stews and soups. If you're a true food lover, then you simply cannot afford to miss out on its abundance of flavours, spices, and herbs, and indulge yourself in this culinary experience.