Armenia’s culinary history is incredibly ancient, dating from over 2.000 years ago and is the product of the history of this fascinating country, its changing borders and influences over the centuries.
After choreg, a sweet bread containing eggs and flavored with nigella and mahlab, the most fundamental Armenian bread is lavash. This paper-thin, blanket-sized bread is one of the most ancient breads still being made in the modern world. It is considered by CNN to be one of the 50 best breads in the world. Lavash has been on the Unesco List of Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2014 and is a staple of Armenian cuisine and culture. It is an Armenian wedding tradition to place lavash on the shoulder of a bride. Legend has it that dropping the bread is bad luck for the future wife and mother.
Eating food folded in lavash is an Armenian passion, and these wraps – known as Brtuch - were a basic meal for many generations of Armenian peasants and townsfolk. The classic combination would also include brined cheese, but we have prepared a vegan version. Like all wraps, fillings can, of course, vary based on personal taste and seasonal availability
The stars of our Brtuch are the fresh herbs sourced at the market in Yerevan. Armenian cuisine uses up to 300 species of wild flowers and herbs as seasonings – heaven for the gut biome!
We chose to use Armenian purple basil. This plant has been cultivated for over 5,000 years and has a long tradition in Armenian cooking and in the Armenian Church. Armenian purple basil is spicier than traditional basil and has a hint of licorice and pepper. Purple Basil contains many vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, and E, fiber, and antioxidants. Like other basil, Purple basil is packed with Vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting and aids in bone strength
Fresh tarragon is a completely different creature to the dried version. Although it has tastes in common with fennel, there are also touches of vanilla, mint and eucalyptus. Throughout history, tarragon has gained a reputation as natural medicine; ancient Roman soldiers used to stuff tarragon in their shoes to boost vitality. It is rich in minerals like manganese, iron, and potassium, as well as beneficial carotenoids. As a result tarragon has been used to prevent a number of ailments and health issues. In Chinese medicine, tarragon is used to reduce inflammation and strengthen the liver while the French make a tea made with the herb to improve sleep.
With such particular herbs, our choice of Extra Virgin Olive Oil was simple. It had to be Blend Delicato so as to showcase the flavors rather than overwhelm them.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blend Delicato
Wash and slice all the vegetables.
Add salt and pepper to taste and a generous pour of Blend Delicato. Heat the lavash in an unoiled pan.
Add the salad, fold and enjoy!