Saturday, 12 October 2013

The Armenian cuisine and I

Do you know any Armenian? Or a person with Armenian origin? I do. Bulgarian Armenians are a very interesting community. What distinguishes the Armenians?

First, you can recognize an Armenian by its surname - it always ends with -yan. Like Karekinyan, Ovanesyan, Papazyan, Zenopyan... And their first names sound strange for an unfamiliar ear: Hovanna, Vartuhi, Frengyul, Garabed, Vartan, Zadik, Kevork and so on. 

Second, they have a strong sense of community. For example, the Armenians in my town Haskovo have a church, called "Surp Stepanos", and a Community center "Ararat". And this is for reason - they came here in a hard times, so identity and solidarity were their tools to survive..

The Armenian church in Haskovo

Third, there are no Armenians - peasants in Bulgaria. As refugees, they settled in the towns and they all became citizens - intellectuals, craftsmen, and workers. Up to this day, I do not know any Armenian in this country who lives in a village. 

Fourth, when you get to know them, you'll find that they have a great music, great dances... and a great cuisine! Via my friends +Mary Panduleva+Petya Panduleva and +Simon Zenopian, last year I entered the magical world of the Armenian food during the culinary exhibition "The Armenian cuisine and I" in Haskovo.

And fifth, the Armenians easily adopt new influences and to add them to their own culture. The exhibition proved that they enrich their cuisine with new elements, but keep the essential fundamentals of their original, many centuries old food culture!

Images say more than words:

Armenian salad with manna croup
Salad by hadzhi Snezhana Garabed
Salad with sea gifts and clams

 Salad with carrots and  beet


Armenian meatballs

Armenian dolma (sarma)

Armenian byorek (banitsa)

Beans (Fasul pacha)
Havgite dolma
Potato balls

Armenian pasta with walnuts, garlic, and yellow cheese 
Stuffed eggplant Armenian style ( Karnı Yarık

Pirog with meat

Stuffed clams with rice


Armenian sweet bread

Armenian sweet bread

Armenian sweet bread




Armenian "dry" baklava

Armenian cake

Armenian ribbons

Armenian ribbons

White sweets

By the end of the exhibition everything was eaten.


Armenian food is tasty and diverse after millennia of cultural encounters in the Middle East, and I strongly recommend it! This food connects people. It feeds the sense of community among these several hundreds Armenians in Haskovo today. So if you pass around, don't forget to ask for the Armenian church and Community center, and maybe you'll get into some exciting Armenian celebration with food, songs, and dances :)

More about Armenian cuisine: here

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