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Armenian cuisine
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  • 1. Armenian Cuisine Armenian cuisine is considered one of the oldest in Asia and the oldest in the Transcaucasus. Its characteristic features were formed during the millennia BC enriched over the centuries, because the Armenians were moving from one place to another. Preparation of making Armenian dishes is often difficult and laborious. There are many varieties of dishes of minced meat, fish, stuffed vegetables, etc. They come from antiquity, for example, still popular dishes such as khorovats (barbecued meat) and byorek (dough stuffed with meat). Armenians cooked these dishes almost nearly for 1500 years.
  • 2. For the preparation of Armenian meals, there is a need to use about 300 types of herbs and wild flowers using them as condiments or even staple. • Soups in Armenian cuisine are very popular. They are cooked so skillfully that you'll remember their taste for the rest of your life. The preparation of meat, fish, and vegetable dishes in an Armenian kitchen requires stuffing, frothing and pureeing. Lamb, eggplant, mayonesie, yogurt, and bread (lavash) are basic features of Armenian cuisine. Armenians use cracked wheat in preference to the maize and rice popular among their Caucasian neighbor • Armenian housewives cook fragrant is khash!
  • 3. Khash • Khash is a traditional dish in Armenia. Formerly a nutritious winter food, it is now considered a delicacy, and is enjoyed as a festive winter meal, usually by a company of men who sit around in a table, early in the morning.
  • 4. Dolma
  • 5. • Dolma is a family of stuffed vegetable dishes common in the Middle East and surrounding regions including Balkans, Russia, Central Asia. Common vegetables to stuff include tomato, pepper, onion, zucchini, eggplant and garlic. Grape or cabbage leaves wrapped around a filling are called ‘sarma', but are also often called 'dolma' or 'yaprak dolma' The stuffing may or may not include meat. Meat dolmas are generally served warm, often with egg-lemon or garlic matsoni sauce; meatless ones are generally served cold. Stuffed vegetables are also common in the Italian cuisine, where they are named ripieni ("stuffed").
  • 6. Ishkhan • Much of the traditional Armenian homeland is inland and mountainous, which has meant that there really aren’t many fish dishes in Armenian cuisine and those that are are mainly for fresh water fresh – most especially Ishkhan, a lake trout native to Lake Sevan in Anatolia, whose name translates as "Prince," giving some idea of how highly esteemed this species was to a cuisine so largely based upon lamb, chicken and vegetables. Sig, another variety of lake trout, is also a favorite and has advocates who insist it tastes even better than Ishkhan. Fresh water sturgeon and its caviar are popular traditional fish to eat, as well. In those areas with access to mussels, midia are also favorites.
  • 7. • Today, Ishkhan is an endangered species, due to years of over fishing, but a farm-raised variety has found a commercial market and much of the Sig found in the markets comes from Russia. • Along with various species of lake trout, any variety of white fish also works pretty well with these basic recipes: • Traditional Method: • The most basic – and probably most ancient – method for cooking fish Armenian Style is to place whole bay leaves on both sides of the cleaned fish, wrap it in wet cheesecloth (or, today, oiled aluminum foil!) and grill it over hot coals, taking care to keep the cheesecloth quite damp. The fish half steams/half grills and the finished product is both moist and quite flavorful from the fire.
  • 8. • Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • • 1 white or trout, cut into 4 individual servings ½ cup diced carrots ½ cup diced celery ½ cup chopped, skinned tomatoes ¾ cup diced potatoes ½ cup finely chopped herbs (especially parsely, tarragon, basil, oregano and thyme – equal parts, or to taste) 1 garlic clove, chopped Salt and pepper to taste ¾ cups of extra virgin olive oil Lemon slices
  • 9. • Method: • Blanch the chopped vegetable mixture in water. • Remove from boiling water when they are still quite al dente and drain. • Place the oil in a clean baking dish and swirl to coat the entire bottom. • Place the cleaned fish in the dish. • Cover the fish portions with the blanched vegetables. • Cover this with the chopped tomatoes. • Liberally sprinkle the chopped herb mixture over the top. • Cover and bake at 350 degreee F for 30 – 40 minutes (until fish is tender and flakes easily). • Serve with lemon slices
  • 10. • Alternative Method: • Make individually sealed packets of the fish portions and vegetables with well-oiled aluminum foil. • Grill over hot coals – or bake in oven, as above. Freshly caught fish on a family camping trip tastes wonderful with this method!