7 Armenian foods you have to try
Updated: Jan 4, 2020
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
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?
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.
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