An Ode to Armenian Cuisine

Image: Kassianos/Flickr

To the Armenian, the odor of standard food stuff cooking is what a serenade is to the ears of musicians. The history of our food is, in reality, the history of Armenian existence at its most elemental, its most personal, and its most necessary. Every single a single of us has a main memory hooked up to our cuisine aiding our moms delicately fold hundreds of items of mante, shadowing our fathers as they expertly flip skewers loaded with lule kebab, or passing our grandmother bunches of piquant herbs and sunlight-ripened tomatoes as they finely chop them to make tabboulehthe virescent crown jewel of Mediterranean-Armenian mezze dishes. The flavors are individuals of loaded recollections and superior conversations, all born on the dining space desk. No matter whether or not these selected situations resonate, our dishes have constantly performed a critical part in cultural preservation, a mainstay for Armenian expression. 

These foods not only hook up us to the past, but to both of those the existing and the long term.

Increasing up, my mom always manufactured it a point to integrate Armenian cuisine into our day-to-day daily life, accompanying the dishes with spoonfuls of heritage. Slowly but surely but definitely, individuals household cooked foods would transport me and my sister to lands we have only noticed in textbooks and family members image albums a bustling Lebanon, a lush Syria and a Western Armenia suitable where it belongs. These meals not only join us to the previous, but to equally the present and the upcoming. My mother’s family members now life in Lebanon, and I consider some ease and comfort in recognizing that we are taking in the very same dishes on reverse sides of the globe. In a bittersweet way, it is beautiful. 

Outside the house of my possess relatives, food items still remains an integral aspect of the Armenian world as a total. To start with and foremost, let us facial area it: we like to take in. Coupled with the fact that very little delivers people today alongside one another like food items, it tends to make sense that it holds this sort of a fat on our society. As customarily social and hospitable people, our delicacies has usually been a cornerstone of our way of lifetime, representing not only our own lineages and ancestry, but also as a vital factor of how we represent ourselves to the world. No matter whether it be inviting friends to drink innumerable espresso cups as a strategy to get them to remain and chat for just a little though for a longer time, or sharing variations of the same recipe to distant loved ones users, food stuff will often continue being the preeminent type of conversation in Armenian culture.

As uniting as food items is, it also possesses constructive, divisive attributes. A single can instantaneously convey to a precise region’s spin on a typical dish by merely glancing at the information. Where’s the parsley? Is it baked? Roasted? Do they add a dash of this? Or a dash of that? These seemingly trivial details of differentiation make all the variance. Conversations can be catalyzed off the uncomplicated comment on a special cooking model “Oh, this kebab preferences familiar. Your relatives doesn’t happen to be from Ourfa?” Suitable then and there, an evocative dialogue that takes the contributors from their dwelling room back to their ancestral motherland has started, around a uncomplicated question with regards to the majesty of Armenian delicacies. Of system, we know your grandmother’s system of wrapping sarma is the greatest, but it is precisely this humorous concept of “my-grandmother-cooks-superior-than-yours” that contributes to the grand quilted tapestry of the million objects on the collaborative Armenian menu, created by all our grandmothers and savored by all their grandchildren. 

No make any difference the place the Armenian, the food stuff, although a little bit altered, stays the very same. The delicacies we consume is element of us as unavoidably we are section of them. Food feeds the soul, after all, and almost nothing quenches the Armenian soul better than the food items that are riddled in our genetic memory. Numerous cardinal aspects of cultures all around the entire world have died because of to their languages remaining unspoken, tunes left unsung, and temples remaining unattended. Although we must normally battle to guarantee that these elements of our tradition in no way share these fates in our present day earth, it can be confidently explained that there will in no way be a plate in an Armenian house still left untouched. 

“You understand a good deal about someone when you share a meal jointly.”

—Anthony Bourdain 

Melody Seraydarian

Melody Seraydarian is a writer from Los Angeles, California. She is an active member of the AYF Hollywood “Musa Ler” Chapter. Melody also interns for the Armenian Bar Association and volunteers for a variety of political causes and campaigns, even though working on other composing and structure projects.

Melody Seraydarian