Top 5 Armenian Must-Taste Dishes
Did you know that Armenian cuisine is considered one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest in Transcaucasia? The national dishes here are so delicious and diverse that they will satisfy the preferences of any tourist. So, if you are planning to book Armenian tours and visit this wonderful country we’ve prepared a list of top 5 Armenian “must-taste” dishes you shouldn’t miss out while traveling in Armenia.
“Khorovats” is Armenian barbecue and it’s difficult to imagine any Armenian feast without this tempting meat dish. Armenian cuisine has about 20 kinds of khorovats, which is not just grilled meat, it’s an ancient dish associated with various interesting traditions. For example, it is prepared only by men, who buy all the necessary ingredients beforehand and then prepare special marinade for meat. Khorovats is served hot just removed from the hot coals, wrapped in Armenian national bread lavash with onions and fresh herbs. As a side dish, Armenians often serve khorovats vegetables. They grill tomatoes, green peppers and egg-plants on coal and then serve them on a big plate or make a salad. The aroma is indescribable!
Basturma is another meat dish so popular among Armenians. If you happen to visit Armenia during winter holidays you will by all means be treated to basturma as no holiday table is complete without this national dish. For preparing basturma Armenians pickle meat (mainly beef) for three days, then wash it and leave under the press for drying (10-15 days). Afterwards, the basturma is covered with chaman (cemen) – a paste consisting of crushed cumin, garlic and hot paprika- and then dried for a little more. Basturma has absolutely unique taste and cannot be compared with anything else, just come to Armenia and necessarily taste it yourself!
If you are going to visit Armenia in a cold season then you should necessarily taste harisa – a thick porridge-like dish prepared from chicken or lamb meat and wheat. The process of preparation is rather hard and time-consuming: the meat and the wheat are boiled together by stirring all the time until the mass becomes homogenous. By the way, once harisa was the main dish of the army and helped the soldiers to survive in the time of a war.
Speaking about Armenian national dishes and products we cannot miss “matsun” – fermented milk product that reminds yogurt and has purely Armenian origin. Now it’s widely spread in the Caucasus. Matsun serves as a base for many tasty dishes. For example, famous Armenian white soup «spas» is prepared form matsun with the addition of wheat and oninon. From matsun Armenians also prepare cold drink “tan” so nice on hot summer days. They delute matsun with water then add some salt and ice, those who wish can also add some herbs and minced cucumber.
Are you a sweet-tooth? Armenia has much to offer in this case. We advise trying a wonderful dessert called sudjukh. All Armenian women can perfectly cook it and pass their skills from generation to generation. So, what is sudjukh and how is it prepared? First you should string the walnut kernels on a thread. Then cook the thick sweet syrup of grape juice and flour. When the syrup is ready, a thread with nuts is dipped in it and then dried in the sun. That’s all – a delicious dessert is ready! It is difficult to imagine Armenian festive New Year table without sudjoukh. By the way, those who want to taste this sweetness and take it for treating relatives and friends can visit Armenian covered markets, among which the most popular is «GUM». It offers various national products and sweets and you definitely will not leave it empty-handed!