Card image cap

Seasonal gastronomic tourism. 10 winter dishes of Armenia

An Armenian family's New Year's table is a mix of local traditional cuisine, Soviet standard New Year's menu and European dishes.

But is it worth eating "Capital" salad or boiled pork here, if there are many winter dishes that simply need to be tasted in Armenia? And what food should you try during your winter trip around the country, in addition to the well-known kebabs, dolma, and khashlama? In fact, there is a myriad of both meat and vegetarian recipes to look out for in Armenia in winter. Moreover, each region here also has its own characteristics. Here are 10 dishes that you should definitely try during your winter trip to Armenia - and where you can do it.

Khapama (Yerevan)

Some people associate the round pumpkin with Cinderella's carriage, while others associate it with Halloween. But in Armenia, pumpkin is primarily two favorite winter delicacies: pumpkin jam and ghapama. Cooking ghapama is not a very laborious and beautiful ritual: the cleaned cavity of the pumpkin is stuffed with rice with dried fruits and baked in the oven. And when, when serving a ready-made dish, you just lift the lid of the pumpkin - the smell of a warm golden autumn day blows over you. 

By the way, in addition to the classic ghapama, in Armenia, you can find a meat version with chicken, veal, and lamb.

Khash (Yerevan)

Most meat lovers in Armenia cannot wait for the beginning of the months with the letter "r" in their names - from September to April. According to tradition, it is then that khash is prepared - a rich broth made from bones. In some regions, the peritoneum is prepared along with the bones. Cooking khash is a whole ritual when men gather in the evening and cook the dish on the smallest fire throughout the night. And early in the morning, ready-made khash is put into a deep plate, dried pita bread, finely chopped garlic or garlic paste are crumbled, salted to taste - and with a piece of soft pita bread they eat the dish with their hands. Pickles, fresh herbs and fragrant radish must be served on the table along with khash. By the way, it is the radish and cold vodka that make the rich khash easier to digest.


Kalla (Gyumri)

A truly Gyumri dish, the appearance of which can terrify an unprepared gourmet is a baked lamb or sheep's head. If a sheep's kjalla is quite small, and it is enough for one or a maximum of two people, then a cow's head is an occasion for a company of 4 or more people. It is believed that up to nine different flavors can be tasted from one head, from tender cheeks to tongue and brain, which are served separately. 

Panrhash (Gyumri)

What could be in common between the French and Gyumri poor people who lived several hundred years ago? Their main food is stale bread, onions and cheese. If in France onion soup was prepared from this, then in the Shirak region of Armenia (with the center of Gyumri) pieces of dried lavash, stewed onions and cheese from low-fat varieties of milk turned into panrhash - paneer (cheese) and khash (see above). 

Aveluk soup (Tsaghkunk, Gegharkunik)

Many people associate Armenia with barbecue and kebab, but in Armenian cuisine (and even in the winter menu) there are many dishes that vegetarians will like. Among them is aveluk soup, or horse sorrel. The seemingly unsightly greenish brown dish is actually incredibly nutritious and warming. Along with aveluk, this soup contains sautéed onions and bulgur, crushed wheat or lentils.


19 December 2021