Eating can provide happiness: if not for you, then definitely for your stomach :). In Armenia, everybody — vegans, vegetarians as well as omnivores — will find restaurants that meet their requirements. As Armenians are hospitable people, here the food is made with love, which makes traditional Armenian dishes even tastier.
Dolma is a traditional dish in Armenia. It’s considered to be traditional dish in the Balkans, in some Central Asian countries, as well as in Greece, Romania, Turkey, etc. Each country has its own preparation technique and it tastes different from country to country. Armenian Dolma, thanks to the ingredients and herbs that are typical per region, gets a special and unique flavor. It decorates Armenian tables on any occasion and is usually served with yogurt. Dolma should be in your “things to try” list while you are in Armenia. When it comes to ordering at a restaurant, you will have to choose from the long “dolma list”. Here you can find dolma in grape leaves, dolma with vegetables, Pasuts dolma (for those who are fasting: it contains seven sorts of beans and is made without meat), vegetarian dolma, Summer dolma in cabbage leaves, etc.
Khash is another traditional dish/soup (preferable to eat on weekends and early in the mornings). It’s made of beef and water. It has to be boiled for a long time to get prepared (to boil in Armenian is “khashel,” which is where the word khash comes from). This dish is for cold weather; that is why Armenians say you can eat it at any month that has the letter “R” in it (for example, it’s not served in July but in SeptembeR its available in any traditional restaurant). It’s served with dried lavash (Armenian bread), garlic sauce, salt, and some side dishes that are a must on khash tables such as pickles, radish, and herbs. First, you will need to add as much salt to your soup per your liking, then add garlic sauce, and after to crush dried lavash on top. Have a shot-glass of mulberry vodka (or any other vodka), and enjoy your meal.
the photo is provided by Pandok Yerevan
The only place where khash is highly recommended in the summer months is at the top of Mount Aragats by the Stone Lake, where even in the summer, it’s cold and some parts of the mountain are still covered in snow. For other seasons, it’s usually available at Noyyan Hatsatun, Tsirani, Tsirani home restaurant, Caucasus tavern, Ayas Kilikia, Pandok Yerevan, Ani Pandok, Ginetun restaurant, Ararat Hall, Havana and Areni Pandok, or just order online from menu.am.
Another dish you may try in Armenia is Khashlama. It is made of either beef or lamb. In a big oven, meat, onion, green pepper, tomato, potato and different local herbs are placed layer by layer, after which it’s filled with some water (sometimes also a bit of wine or beer), and is baked.
the photo by menu.am
All the traditional Armenian dishes including Dolma, Khash, and Khashlama are made with love and are available in the menu of local traditional restaurants listed above. Eat well to have enough energy to explore all the hidden sites of Armenia.
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