Apricot, in Latin, is named as “prunus armeniaca”. Apricot is a symbolic and national fruit for Armenians. The Armenians have devoted many songs to this amazingly delicious and sweet fruit. Due to the reputation of Armenian apricot, Armenia is known as the “Land of Apricots” by many foreigners.

Armenian apricots are believed to have cures for various diseases as these apricots are full of beta-carotene, vitamins A & C, fiber and lycopene that are good for heart, eyes, digestive system and prostate. They have a legend that says apricot is symbolized with longevity and the Armenians have a strong faith in it. The apricot of the Ararat Valley was known as the best in the world even in the previous times.

Armenians are known to have utilized these apricots in the best manner. They have a wide range of recipes for making different types of sweets, dry fruit, soups, jams, jellies, marmalades, juices, pies and compotes of apricot. Once the apricot season begins, you will find all the Armenian landladies busy in making delicious apricot desserts.
Out of their so many wonderful recipes, here is one for preparing an Apricot Pie.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 kg dry apricots
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon and pour as much water so it will cover the apricots.
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

How to prepare the crust? Just get one that is readymade or you can use some known recipes for the preparation of two-crust pie. Apricots are then to be cooked in a pot that is filled with water and cook it for around 20 minutes. Now gradually add some butter and mix it gently with the help of blender. Combine two things: cornstarch along with water, now add it to the apricot mixture, you need to cook it until its thick. Add the cinnamon. Now before putting in the dough, butter the pan lightly. Now slightly brush the laid dough with the egg white. After this is done, add the apricot. Make sure you bake it for around 30 to 45 minutes.

Dolma Armenian Summer Festival

Dolma is one of the most delicious and popular traditional Armenian dishes. There are several kinds of dolmas: dolma with grape leaves, summer dolma, “pasuts” (fast) dolma, “sut” (fake) dolma.  Dolma with grape leaves is the real traditional dolma.

Dolma is the national dish of Armenia. Here goes its recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

  • onion
  • basil
  • grape leaves
  • minced beef meat
  • rice
  • spices

To prepare a dolma, take a one kilo minced beef, one cup of rice and minced onion and mix them well. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste, dry basil and savory. Then add 150 grams of butter, black pepper and salt. Start kneading the stuffing for 10 minutes and add half cup of warm water. Once the stuffing is ready, take a grape leave and put a tablespoon of the stuffing on it and turn it into a roll. Then you cook the dolmas in a saucepan for 20 minutes after adding a tablespoon of vegetable oil and some water.  You can also prepare it with cabbage leaves. Real grape leave dolma is also served with matsoun – Armenian national sour yoghurt and garlic.

“Summer” dolma is made of stuffed eggplants, pepper, tomatoes.  “Pasuts” dolma uses beans, peas, rice, lots of other spices cooked in oil and stuffed in sour cabbage.  “Sut” dolma is made of rice, oil and spices.

Dolma is usually prepared for festive occasions such as New Year or special guests. Different regions of Armenia have different ingredients of dolma. Its recipe changes from region to region. In Ashtarak and Echmiatsin, dolmas are made of lamb. In Ashtarak, they often make dolma by stuffing apple and quince.

Dolma has a ritual significance in Armenian culture. It is their traditional dish. Last year, the Armenians organized an event “Pan-Armenian Festival of Dolma” in Sardarapat Memorial, where 22 chefs from Yerevan and regions presented different Armenian recipes of dolma. The purpose of such events is to make their tradition popular and present their cultural values to the world. Since the festival brought out a huge response and good reactions, the organizers have planned to celebrate it every year. This year the festival took place on 11th July. 20 pavilions served the Armenian dolma in Sardarapat.

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