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  • TRADITIONAL CUISINE

    Alexandrapol everyday dishes were very divers, porridge, pilafs and soups, which were also called by the name of their ingredients such as lentils pilaf, rice pilaf, burghul pilaf, Stewed rice pilaf, dried fruit, tirit pilaf, turnip pilaf, corcot soup, pochov apur, harlapur etc.

    Blghurov phlav Thanov apurVospov phlav

    Fried sibekh was the most common food during the fasting, 4-5 zokhs were dipped in flour then was fried in the oil, on strong fire so that both sides are equally cooked. This food was famous as “fasting fish” among people of Gyumri. During the Christmas and Easter holidays, rice pilaf was mixed with green beans by adding omelet on top. In comparing with villagers, people from Alexandrapol besides making fasting groats dolma, they also made rice dolma, onions were fried in oil, then rice, grape, apricot dried fruit was added to it, afterwards it was mixed and was rolled in sour cabbage leafs then placed in a jar, adding double volume water and placed into a clay oven with mild fire.  Fasting dishes were also considered the pochov apur (this soup was cooked the Monday of the Great Fast and for tasting it close family members were invited), sorrel salads, boiled potatoes, red beans, peas which were served with salt, and spiced with pepper and tsitron.   

    Qare qyuftaPasuc tolma

    During the holidays, one of the most respectable dish for a person of Alekpol was tatar boraki, dolma, sarti qyufta, qari qyufta, barbeque, tava qiftasin, chanakh, tava, qyalla etc. The last three were very common dish among craftsman. The housewives of Alexandrapol would have their gatas, bakhlava, shaqarlokhum, shanchorakin (cookie) cooked in ovens. The Gyumri yaghla was made in oven also, this sweet dish had layers of dough covered with sugar powder.  White choruk was also cooked for selling.

    Phaxlava

    Celebrational meals were the new year’s fasting dolma, kaghand gata (the year bread), cookies with different carvings on them, the Christmas harissa, Terndez khetsakh, St. Sargis porridge with sweets, the Easter pilaf, St. Cross qyashqyan,  the Ascension milk soup, matagh (lamb sacrifice), khashlama, atamnahatik etc.

    Gyumri urban dishes were different with some delicate features and generosity of sweet food. The kishmish sauce, pumpkin, grape, honey (or sugar) soup, fried dried apricot, pilaf with grape, apricot, black plum and almonds, omelet with dried white mulberry, khurma omelet, daymagh (honey and sour cream), hasotan, zuriban. The grape leaf dolma was also served with sugar powder and cinnamon.  

    GataTapakac chir

    Drinks were very important both for holiday and everyday meal. The most favorite juice for the New Years was the dried fruit sweet juice, which still is served in families of Gyumri people. The favorite drink for men in Alexandrapol was vodka (rakhi), the most known among its type was the bread vodka brought from Javakhk and the Ararat valley, called “khujan vodka”, without which they wouldn’t sit over the table, in addition, it was not only used at their home but also outside of their house. During the mid of XIX century, beer became very popular among men of Alexandrapol and very soon it was part of their meal. There were many pubs in the city, wine tasting places and kiosks, where craftsmen were having their meal and tasting strong drinks during their breaks, sometimes with their guests.   Wine was not that common, even though it was also served during different celebrations or ceremonial events.

    Coffee as well as “ghalfa” a drink made with roasted barley, was also used during everyday life. Tea was served to guests during family celebrations and ceremonies. Men liked to drink their coffee in cafes also and in community clubs, where they talked politics, city events, about their deals accompanied by songs of famous bards.