Armenia is a country of hot summer sun, mountain rivers and rocky soils. Maybe this is the exact secret combination of factors that makes everything growing in this land so delicious and full of life. Check out this “Armenian Food & Cuisine: 7 Traditional Must-Try Foods in Armenia” to find out how to please your stomach during your trip in Armenia.
The country truly boasts not only rich culture and hospitable people but also authentic cuisine with abundant choice of delicacies for every taste. Here’s a list of traditional Armenian dishes – fresh and canned, baked and grilled, dried and salted, but always prepared with love – which you should by all means taste during your trip to Armenia:
Must-Try Armenian Food #1 – Tolma (Dolma)
Any list of Armenian dishes has to start with tolma. Prepared in hundreds of different variations, this dish usually represents minced meat (Armenian tolma is usually made with minced meat instead of its ground meat counterparts), rice and seasonings wrapped in either cabbage leaves or grape leaves and cooked (never stirred!) to mouthwatering perfection. And of course, it needs to be topped with Armenian plain yogurt with or without garlic. If you visit Armenia and not try dolma, it’s your duty to visit us again.
Must-Try Armenian Food #2 – Sujukh/Basturma
Travel to any airport in the world from Armenia and the luggage control will know the difference between sweet sujukh and its meat variation (you can’t fly the meat one with you, but we always try). Armenians love both and try to take it with them for it is the best present for another Armenian that hasn’t been home for a long time. While sweet sujukh, which is also called sharan or Armenian snickers, is dried wallnuts covered in grape syrup and dried, meat version is a dried sausage that usually is made of either beef or beef and lamb with a bunch of spices, like paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon and others. This meat version always goes with Basturma (Pastrami), which is seasoned and cured beef meat, which is a great counterpart of beef jerky to go with beer. Make a brduch (wrap with Armenian lavash flatbread) with some cheese or fresh parsley and green onions…Yum…
Must-Try Armenian Food #3 – Khashlama
This is another not-to-miss traditional Armenian dish. To make it, the ingredients, such as lamb, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and seasoning is stacked in a big pan in a specific order and cooked. The result is this heavenly flavor and a hearty meal Armenians like to enjoy any time of the day.
Must-Try Armenian Food #4 – Khorovats and Kebab
Another “happily ever after”couple of the Armenian cuisine. This is barbecue (whole pieces) meat and ground seasoned meat. Best prepared by Armenian men, who know exactly how to season the meat, make the right fire, and serve to the table. It is often combined with grilled fresh vegetables like eggplant, tomatoes and bell peppers, fresh herbs and chopped red onions.
Must-Try Armenian Food #5- Khash
Once it’s cold enough to fully enjoy a hot hearty meal, Armenians plan khash days with the family, colleagues and friends. You wake up early in the morning to eat this weird-looking but most delicious stew. It is made from cow legs and head boiled in plain water for hours on end and served with dried lavash (Armenian flatbread), garlic and plenty of vodka. Now you can go to bed. See you in the evening.
Must-Try Armenian Food #6 – Harissa
This is a very popular Armenian traditional porridge made from chicken and cracked dry wheat. During Musa Ler siege this delicious but simple dish kept the people alive for months on end. This story adds to the value Armenians attach it. Because of the ingredients, you will be full very soon, but it is so delicious you’ll want it again and again.
Must-Try Armenian Food #7 – Ghapama
This one is a great vegetarian dish to try. This beautiful dish needs to be ordered at the restaurant before your visit, because it takes time to prepare. The pumpkin is filled with a mixture of rice, nuts, raisins and dried fruits and cooked to absorb all the flavor. It pleases the eye and the taste, just like many other Armenian dishes we can’t innumerate here.
Plan to try one of these great dishes each day of your stay in this beautiful country.