What is Armenian Food?

Read an excellent blog post talking about Armenian Cuisine, written by Ed Stambollouian – an amateur food writer and passionate home cook, published on his website www.londoncooking.co.uk   

See the excerpt below and click here to read the blog.   

Blog by Ed Stambollouian published on londoncooking.co.uk   

“It never occurred to me growing up that eating rice on Christmas day was unusual. Only when social media took off and boastful photos of Christmas dinner plates loaded with turkey, veg and lashings of gravy became common place, did I realise that our stuffing was a bit different. Pilaf is a rice dish, usually cooked in stock or broth, with added spices, vegetables, dried fruit and meat. The rice is fried in fat until translucent, then it’s slowly simmered on a low heat (or in the oven) until it fully absorbs the delicious stock. My father’s pilaf recipe, which was handed down to him by a cousin, is an irresistible mix of fried rice, vermicelli, dried fruit, whole chestnuts, pine nuts, all spice and cinnamon. When he can get hold of them he throws in the chopped-up turkey giblets too. Stuffed inside the roasting bird, the pilaf swells with flavour. It’s divine. Plus, it makes a cracking Boxing Day left-over alongside a bit of cold ham.

Like much of Armenian cooking, pilaf shares its identity with similar dishes from across the Middle East; from the territories of the former Ottoman Empire, from its neighbouring countries and from across the world. You can see the same roots of pilaf in the Spanish paella or the South Asian biryani. In fact, many of Armenia’s culinary traditions and iconic dishes are hotly contested; the debate around their origins is tied into historical and geopolitical conflict. So, what is Armenian food? Maybe the better question is, what do Armenians cook? What makes their versions of these popular dishes Armenian? But first, probably most importantly, who are the Armenians?” …Read more