Visiting Armenia without eating khash is like visiting Paris without seeing Eiffel tower. Why is it considered important in Armenian culture, and why is it important for the tourists themselves?
Behind this famous dish, there is an interesting story that every tourist should know.
The origin of that comes from the word “khashel” in Armenian, which means to boil. It has existed since paganism and is one of the most festive It is eaten specifically during the months that contain the letter ‘r’ in them. Khash is usually eaten in the 3 colder seasons. There is a tradition of starting off khash season with the first snow, but it is also considered a summer staple in mountain regions such as Aragats.
It is said that there was a king who always used to keep the best beef meat for himself and would throw the bones away. A shepherd called Khash lived close by. The king liked the smell of the food khash cooked. One day the king called him and asked him to prepare soup using beef feet. He tried it and fell in love with the dish. Since then he decided to eat that food and share the other parts of the beef with poor people.
Eating this famous Armenian dish is the perfect way to get people together. Whether it’s family, friends or co-workers, it brings Armenians together. It is a great way to express your love towards people. It is accompanied by drinks and toasts with people cherishing every moment spent together.
People usually have it for breakfast. It is served in a big bowl alongside shredded garlic, salt, sliced radish, dry “lavash” bread, spices, and the last but not least, vodka.
The meat should be taken out and put on a plate. First, it is mixed with garlic and salt and then covered with lavash bread. You can add garlic and salt to the soup. Once the meat absorbs the sauce, you take the bones out and put it back to soup. Then you crumble dry lavash bread and add it to the bowl. You add until it soaks up all the broth, and voila, you start eating.
This tradition is largely respected among Armenians. Khash day is a celebration. All visiting tourists must indulge themselves in khash to enjoy delightful moments and live the culture’s spirit for a while. However, it’s for the better if tourists first have khash with local experts since pure khash requires cleanness, attention, and work.