Armenian cuisine uses an abundance of fresh products and also offers a great variety for vegetarians. Having a meal is a very important social event for Armenians and it usually takes a while, in part because Armenians make elaborate toasts with speeches.
Fresh herbs such as basil, coriander, parsley and mint are served in dishes and together with fresh salads they are part of the meal. A meal usually consists of several courses starting with salads, herbs and bread, including the traditional lavash bread. In the villages this bread is still baked in a pit in the ground called the tonir.
Then soup is served followed by the main dish of meat or fish, vegetables, rice or potatoes, all made with fresh seasonal products. In the mountains wild vegetables, including wild spinach, can be found and form an essential part of Armenian cuisine.
After the main course comes dessert. Armenians favour sweet cakes, which most westerners find too sweet. Besides coffee or tea, fresh seasonal fruit or ice cream may be served.
The tour will be a good opportunity for everyone to become familiar with Armenian cuisine. Depending on our options, we might have a chance to prepare a meal ourselves on one occasion.
To enjoy the great variety of dishes, we will dine at different restaurants.
In a number of restaurants traditional music is played, which westerners find pleasant to listen to, although sometimes it is described as rather melancholic.