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7 Armenian foods you have to try

Updated: Jan 4

Armenian food was so varied but it was the freshness of the local ingredients which really stood out on our one week trip in the south Caucasus.


So here are 7 foods for 7 days for you to enjoy:


1. Kashlama - lamb stew

Sample this splendid stew of slow-cooked lamb in its glorious gravy with peppers, served with fresh bread.

The best kashlama we had was in the colonial-looking Khinkali restaurant in Yerevan.

Ask to be seated upstairs for the full menu – downstairs is just about khinkali which are, strictly speaking, Georgian in origin.


2. Dolma - stuffed veggies

Minced meat, rice and onion are used to stuff vegetables or as a filling in a grape/cabbage leaf – these are surprisingly light on the stomach.


3. BBQd Lake Sevan fish

Speaks for itself…


4. Sea Buckthorn Tea

You can buy a really nice cup of this freshly-brewed tea opposite the Moscow Cinema in Yerevan at a little stall for 800dram (£1.30).

All around Lake Sevan, you’ll find roadside vendors selling this golden fruit fresh by the bucket or the bottled syrupy version.


5. Mante - dumpling soup
Mante means ‘little boat’.

The cook fills little dumpling boats with mince and crisps them up in the oven. Next, the little meaty ships go into a light broth soup, finished with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkle of dried sumac.


The mante soup at Anteb had the perfect combination of crunch and liquid, plus it was a good price.


6. Ghapama - whole roast pumpkin

A traditional dish of stuffed, baked pumpkin - the highlight is the food-drama of cutting the pumpkin at the table where it opens up like a giant, juicy flower.

7. Road fish

Who doesn’t like a bit of dusty road fish from the back of an ancient Lada?


Homestay hospitality

To really experience the warm Armenian hospitality and authentic cooking, do try and stay with a local family.


We stayed with the Babayan family near Noravank, and with Ando, his wife and grandma in Lake Sevan; both times we were welcomed like family and had a wonderful time.

Ando's Armenian-British fish and chips (from Lake Sevan)
From the Babayan garden and bee hives.


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Kelly lives by the philosophy of:

'You're more likely to regret the things you didn't do than the things you did do'.

Which is a good way to giggle about the ridiculous situations she often finds herself in...

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