I continue to share with you my emotions and felling about trip to Armenia. And going to be hard to write everything here, in posts, that’s why, I’ve decided to write a bool about it.
My notes for Prosto & Vkusno Magazine (Moldova).
Armenians have such a feature they can make you fall in love with country at a distance. If you’re lucky, and you have an Armenian friend – you understand me well and love Armenia like me. My love for this mountainous country began in childhood. It so happens that all my life I was surrounded by Armenians. And all my life I dreamed to be in Yerevan …
My trip to Armenia is for work. And at the same time it is important for me. I came here to shoot the national cuisine for my project Food’n’Chef. Before that I was shooting in restaurants with Michelin stars, the Scandinavian Chefs in Hong Kong, the French in Italy and Thai Chef who cooks for the King of Malaysia, in Armenia I shoot exclusively Armenians who cook local dishes, avoiding the popular and fashionable Italian restaurants and sushi bars.
What do you know about Armenian cuisine? Personally, I was into the plane, I knew only about the Armenian kebab, basturma and naturally, lavash, which recently recognized culinary heritage by UNESCO. In fact, Armenian cuisine is diverse. In addition to meat there is also a huge amount of vegetables and grain dishes. Delicious traditional pastries and natural lavash.
Food in Armenia is balanced. The quality, but but the quantity. Tables full of food. First you collect a traditional brtuch, it is Armenian roll. A piece of pita you fill up with greens, vegetables and a variety of cheeses. Brtuch, which is rolled by host is the highest degree of respect for the guest.
Then go to snacks. Baked eggplant with tahini paste, lens with nuts and a dozen different, equally delicious dishes. Then soups, several types. And only then, when you reach the spherical condition because of the number of food, they serve meat dishes. Lamb on the bone, and bulgur, lamb with baked vegetables … Armenians desserts. Try not to eat everything that is on the table. You make the hosts being upset”.
Hash was a red line through all my trip to Armenia and I think about it for a long time, when I was in Ukraine. And it’s not even a dish, this way of spending time, a ritual in which there is a part of this small, extremely beautiful country. To some extent, this dish can be compared to our native jelly.
The ritual of preparing Khash in Armenia is as follows. Early Saturday evening, when the first snow falls in the mountains and winter begins, the men gather to cook hash. Cook it all night, controlling the temperature of both – the dishes and theirself. With cornel vodka, of course. In the middle of the night, when the men had done everything, they would replaced by women. Well, the men go to sleep.
At six o’clock in the morning Sunday Khash is ready. Men wake up, everyone gathers at the table, seasoned broth to taste and drink cornel vodka for breakfast. Khash is satisfying so that as soon as the body understands that he has to digest, it sends a signal: “Sleep!” And all the Armenian family together is snoring before lunch. On Sunday, you can!
Armenians are very shy and sensitive people. And very friendly. If you do not eat at the table – it does not mean that it’s much for you. This means that you either got sick or it’s not delicious. You need to be ready to Armenia. Diet and Sports. You are bound to come back with overweight and mild nostalgia for a cheerful, good-natured and hospitable people.
When people ask me how was Armenia? I smile broadly and say, plus five kilos. Yes, yes. This is not a joke. In Eastern countries in general you have to be careful with food. There are a lot of food, tasty food, and people are very hospitable. Plus five kilos, I always say about Armenia, and remember with a smile Ruben Poghosyan, Chef at Tufenkian. I remember our long conversations with him. And today I want to introduce you to this great Armenian Chef – Ruben Poghosyan and his signature dish.
Ruben’s interview is here!
Go to Armenia and eat international cuisine is a big big pervesion. Why, if the Armenian cuisine is distinctive, balanced and incredibly tasty. I prepared a small programm of gastroetnotour for lovers of gapped food.
The restaurant is right in the heart of Yerevan, twenty meters from the monumental museum complex “Cascade”. Edgar Yeganyan, charismatic and humble chef can cook miracles. Absolutely great lamb on the bone and bulgur and Armenian roll lamb.
This restaurant is managed by one of the iconic chefs Ruben Poghosyan. I will not advise the individual dishes. Just call Ruben, give him my regards and ask for recommendations.
Meals are prepared here by the recipes of grandmother owner. He personally supervises the quality and taste. I recommend lamadzho. And if they cook raise for you, trip was a success!
In this restaurant, where is no light, everything is cooked in such a way as did the ancestors of Armenians hundred years ago – in the tandoor. I recommend to try the Armenian wheat groats with lamb. And an array of snacks, which Vardkes offer.
Another great stories about Armenia is here.