Shirak Cuisine

The traditional, hospitable and multi-skilled Shirak residents not only preserved the national, traditional cuisine, but also enriched it.

Cuisine is a part of every nation’s culture. It helps to to get to know the locals, which is the “food memory” of their origin, history, homeland, customs, description of the local people. It is said that the people whose bread is delicious are good. Bread is an integral part of Armenian cuisine. “Bread” in this context means food in general, a dish, as well as hospitality.

We call it to eat bread or to share bread, etc. Shirak cuisine is a part of the traditional Armenian cuisine with its unique manifestations. Being a traditionalist, hospitable and versatile, Shirak not only preserved the national, traditional cuisine, but also enriched it. At present, the cuisine of rural and urban Shirak residents is almost the same.

Whatever was possible to taste in the villages of Shirak, now is offered to the visitors in many restaurants and food outlets in Gyumri. The traditional cuisine of Shirak is diverse: soups, pilafs, sweets, the names of which often do not say anything before you taste it: pilaf with chortan, pilaf with jezes, dried tirit, turnip yayni, korkotapur, tail soup, tanov soup, harlapur, satri kufta, ghazan barbecue, tava kiftavasi omelette, omelet with dates, omelet with paste, ghaymagh (honey), hasutan, zurbian and etc.

You can only try the cooked heads of beef or mutton in Shirak. The traditional Armenian khash and dolma with vine leaves are inseparable from the cuisine of the people of Gyumri.

The traditional sweets of Gyumri are very diverse and delicious: gata, baklava, sugar lokhum and sugar choraki. Visitors to Gyumri should definitely try the traditional yaghli, made with oil and sprinkled with powdered sugar on the surface. Drinks are a mandatory part of festive or ritual hospitality in Gyumri.

The favorite drink of the people of Alexandropol was vodka and wine. Beer has been widespread here since the middle of the 19th century (the first factory was built in 1898 by the Tsaghikyants). There were many taverns, wineries (mikitans) in the city, and pubs, which were always used by both locals and guests of the city.

Coffee, roasted barley drink, ghayfa, and tea were popular here. In Alexandropol, men liked to drink coffee in cafes (ghayfanas), and in clubs, talking about politics, city events, listening to the songs of talented and numerous troubadours.

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