Bread is used almost everywhere in the world, but today, let’s talk about Armenian lavash, which is the integral part of Armenian cuisine. Lavash might be the longest bread you’ve ever seen as it ranges from 50 cm to 1 m length. This thin bread is made without food additives. Once you are in Armenia, do not miss your chance to try traditional tonir-made lavash.
In 2014, "lavash, the preparation, meaning and appearance of traditional bread as an expression of culture in Armenia" was inscribed in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Lavash is prepared in earthenware clay-made oven in the ground that is called “tonir” by the locals. Tonir-making is a craft. Sometimes, it’s covered with salt and sand layers to keep it warm for more time. The lid is usually either paper or clay-made.
credits to Katyenka
Besides bread, it’s also used to cook soups or make a barbecue, while it simultaneously heats the house. In the pre-Christian period, tonir was considered to be a symbol of the Sun in the land because it provided their daily food and was considered to be as vital as the sun. It was believed that bending over the tonir while baking bread, Armenian women were bowing to the Sun.
Armenian Lavash is a soft, thin flatbread that is shaped into circles and usually at least a half meter long. The dough is stretched over a special oval cushion that is then slapped against the wall of tonir.
credits to Emma Marashlyan
It is easy to use: just make a “brduj” ( any food that is basically wrapped in lavash is called brduj), and enjoy.
This is a type of bread that can be dried and saved for a long time (around 40 days). Before using it, people spray some water on dried lavash and it becomes as fresh as a newly baked one.
Because it was not possible to cover the high demand of lavash in the markets — besides tonir made one — there are also many factories that produce it in a special lavash-making machine.
If you do not know anyone in the countryside who will host you and will show how Armenian lavash is being prepared, you can still buy and have a look at the preparation of the longest bread in Yerevan. SAS food court could be an option.
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