Armenian Cuisine History
Armenian cuisine is the most ancient national cuisine in the Transcaucasus, and it contains both traditional and modern Armenian recipes. The traditions of Armenian culinary art, for example - recipes for baking bread, and understanding the essence of fermentation processes, date back about 2500 years. Modern Armenian cuisine combines both the culinary traditions of Armenia and a modern approach to cooking.
It should be said that Armenian cuisine has a fairly large number of recipes, technologies and traditions that make it very interesting to study. Ancient knowledge, preserved to this day, can serve as the basis for a more detailed study and understanding of culinary processes in the recipes of Armenian and other cuisines of the Caucasus.
Main Features of Armenian Cuisine
- cooking is very labor-intensive; the majority of recipes for Armenian dishes are prepared using the method of beating or stuffing;
- the preparation of different ingredients of one dish occurs separately, and the combination into a single whole occurs immediately at the end of the preparation; the same trend can be seen in a fairly large number of Asian and Caucasian cuisines;
- an individual ingredient of a dish can be subjected in turn to all types of heat treatment - stewing, boiling, frying, but it is stewing that is of greater priority in most recipes of Armenian cuisine;
- it should be said about the sufficient spiciness of Armenian dishes; it is most widely manifested in Armenian recipes for soups and appetizers.
Culinary Traditions of Armenian Cuisine
It is worth highlighting the culinary techniques and elements that make Armenian recipes and dishes original and unique. For example, a wide range of herbs and spices, the most typical use of garlic, onion, pepper, cumin, and saffron. Armenian recipes use a considerable amount of wild herbs. Salt in Armenian recipes is also used in fairly large quantities. This can be explained by climate factors in Armenia - in a hotter climate, the body's salt consumption is much higher. Quite typical ingredients used in Armenian cuisine recipes are vegetables and meat. Among the vegetables, potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, beets, and cucumbers should be highlighted. In dishes using meat, lamb or beef is mainly used, pork is used less often. Despite the fact that Armenia is a Christian country, it is still part of the Caucasus, where the Muslim ban on pork also influenced the recipes of Armenian cuisine.
Flour Dishes and Baked Food Recipes of Armenian Cuisine
It is necessary to say about the presence of pastries and flour dishes in Armenian cuisine. The most common flour dish is homemade noodles - arishta. Wheat cereals and chicken meat are used to make a dish - porridge with a similar name - harisa. Well, a well-known recipe in Armenian cooking is lavash. Armenian lavash is a thin strip of dough, about a meter long. In some regions of Armenia, the technology for making lavash has not changed since ancient times. It is prepared in ovens of a special device - tonirs. Tonirs are usually drowned with brushwood. The toner is designed in such a way that its walls warm up well in a short period of time, so the dough is baked quite quickly. In some regions of Armenia, a culinary tradition has been preserved, according to which lavash is baked and stored for 3-4 months. In order for the pita bread to regain its original properties and be edible, it is covered with a wet towel for half an hour. After this time, the pita bread again acquires the desired structure.
Drinks of Armenian Cuisine
In conclusion, we should give an example of drinks in the Armenian culinary tradition. Characteristic of Armenian cuisine is a fermented milk drink - matsun. The main recipe for matsun can be milk obtained from different animals - sheep, cows or buffalos. The initial component is a curd obtained by souring milk, which then undergoes special processing.