BN.com Gift Guide

Armenian Food: Fact, Fiction & Folklore [NOOK Book]

Overview

Food is a portal to Armenia's past and present-day culture. This culinary journey across the land called Hayastan presents the rich history, wondrous legends, and fact-filled stories of Armenian cuisine. Authors Irina Petrosian and David Underwood take readers on a memorable tour of Armenia by way of the kitchen. What ancient Armenian fable warned against genetically-altered food? What little-known Armenian fruit may have helped Noah on the ark? What was the diet of David of Sassoun, the legendary Armenian ...
See more details below
Armenian Food: Fact, Fiction & Folklore

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$8.99
BN.com price

Overview

Food is a portal to Armenia's past and present-day culture. This culinary journey across the land called Hayastan presents the rich history, wondrous legends, and fact-filled stories of Armenian cuisine. Authors Irina Petrosian and David Underwood take readers on a memorable tour of Armenia by way of the kitchen. What ancient Armenian fable warned against genetically-altered food? What little-known Armenian fruit may have helped Noah on the ark? What was the diet of David of Sassoun, the legendary Armenian Hercules? What was the influence of the Soviet Union on the food ways of Armenia? What strange and exotic fruits and herbs are sold in Armenia's markets? Why do Armenians go to cemeteries to "feed" the dead? What role did coffee play in Armenian marriage rituals? If you are curious about one of the world's most ancient cultures, or are contemplating a trip to Armenia, don't miss the chance to read this fascinating book.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781257135899
  • Publisher: Lulu.com
  • Publication date: 8/12/2011
  • Sold by: LULU PRESS
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,166,596
  • File size: 4 MB

Read an Excerpt

TzhvzhikWhen meat is frying in a skillet, the English-trained ear hears the sound "siz-siz-siz", thus the word "sizzling" in the English vocabulary. Armenians hear "tzh-vzh-tzh". So they named their dish of liver fried in hot oil tzhvzhik.The main ingredients of tzhvzhik are liver and onions. After cutting the meat into small pieces and sprinkling with salt, cooks brown it in the skillet. Placing the liver onto a serving platter is the next stage. Then sliced onion is added to the same skillet and sautéed until lightly brown. Liver covered with the sautéed onions is then ready for enjoyment. Fried liver is a non-pretentious dish. Its popu­larity spans across the Near East and the Balkans. In Tur­key, the dish is called arnavit jigeri, "Albanian liver", and is considered as a contribution of the Albanians to the Otto­man cuisine. But Armenian fried liver is especially note­worthy because there's a great yarn behind it.That story is called Tzhvzhik. Its main theme is that food obtained through charity comes with an emotional price tag. It creates a conflict between the desire for self-respect and the hunger for food. The author, Atrpet, published many volumes of literature, but Armenians only remem­ber his small, five-page story about tzhvzhik. The story gained prominence after the 20-minute-long movie version of Tzhvzhik was released in 1961. This film is considered a classic of Soviet Armenian cinematography. Some memo­rable lines of dialogue from the movie became widely used idioms. The movie offers a glimpse of life in the Armenian town of Erzerum in the Ottoman Empire, at the end of the 19th century. In a close-knit community, food was one of the main topics of discussion. Everybody knew through the grapevine what was on each other's table for dinner. The status of town inhabitants was measured by the number of visits to the butcher shop, which was pretty much the center of the Armenian universe. A surviving trace of the impor­tance of the butcher in the lives of Ottoman Armenians is the Armenian family name Kasabian (Kasab means butcher in Turkish). In the movie, a poor man, Nerses Aga, happens to meet the affluent Nikogos Aga at the butcher shop. In a generous gesture, the latter buys a big piece of liver for the impover­ished fellow. But Nerses never gets to savor the tasty gift. He watches with anguish, his mouth watering, as his hungry family wolfs down all the tzhvzhik in scant minutes. He doesn't get to taste a single piece.From that moment on, when­ever he runs into Nikogos Aga, he gets reminded again and again about the gift he accepted. Then it seems everyone he encounters has to talk about tzhvzhik. He must listen to un­solicited comments about its delicious flavor, its proper preparation, and how to economize such a tasty treat. "Use only half of the meat for the first-day tzhvzhik. Drain away all the fat after frying it, and use that for making next-day tzhvzhik." Nerses Aga starts to lose it badly. Wherever he goes, he begins to hear people seeming to whisper behind his back, "Tzhvzhik...tzhvzhik". Finally, his nerves can't take anymore, and he snaps. The climax of the story is both dra­matic and quite funny. In a near frenzy, the angry and tormented Nerses Aga grabs a huge, whole piece of liver from that same butcher shop. He finds Nikogos Aga, and slaps the fresh meat straight into his benefactor's face, right out in public. "Here's your tzhvzhik! Here's your tzhvzhik!" he howls in frustration at a very shocked, stunned, and liver-stained Nikogos Aga."Charity exacerbated the resentment felt by the recipi­ent", modern psychoanalysts would say. The expression "don't make a story about tzhvzhik" became part of Armenian colloquial language. It's used when there is too much curiosity or a bit too much talk about a particular dish and how tasty it is.It's impossible to discuss tzhvzhik and not mention the special place that liver takes in the Armenian emotional makeup. The Turkish word for liver, jigiar, is rarely used by modern Armenians as the name of the bodily organ. Rather, it is used to refer to the center of strong human emotions. It is considered a term of endearment. In Arme­nian, to have a strong love is to love with the liver. To be a cold, aloof, selfish, in the same terms, is to be "without liver" (anjigiar). A refrain from a popular song by the well-known Armenian singer Tata is "Jigaryov ser, uzum em ji­gyarov sirel." "Love with the liver, I want to love with the liver." Don't forget that Armenians are just affirming that the English word "liver" comes from the word "live".Want an interesting definition of Armenia? It is a coun­try where people not only enjoy fried liver, but also love with their liver, feel pain in their liver, talk with their liver, and "eat with their liver", which means to dine with gusto.You can feel this at the moment you step into Zvartnots Airport in Yerevan. Armenians there are passionately kissing and hugging each other in the arrival and departure areas. That's the emotional "liver" at its very best. Tzhvzhik cook­ing at the barbecue parlors right outside the airport, now that's the real liver.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION
Cuisine Shaped by History
Old Yerevan
A Taste of the Soviet Times
Dining in Soviet Yerevan in the 1920s
The Soviet Armenia Cookbook
Armenia's Natural Produce
FOOD OF ARMENIA
BREAD
Lavash
Wraps
Once Upon a Time ...
Matnakash
Lore and Symbolism
May You Never Have a Longing for Bread
CHEESE, YOGURT AND BUTTER
Cheese
Yogurt
Butter
Lore and Symbolism
GRAINS AND PASTA
Grain Dishes
Hasooda
Harissa
Pasta
The Kukuruz Craze
MEAT AND FISH
Symbol of Plenty
Khorovats
Tolma
Tzhvzhik
Khash
Kufta
Khashlama
A Village Woman's Life
Khinkali
Kchooch, Bozbash, and Borscht
Clay's Comeback
Basturma
Fish
VEGETABLES
Potato and Cabbage
Tomato and Cucumber
Eggplant and Peppers
At the Bazaar
FRUITS
Apricot
Grapes
Pomegranate
Apples
Watermelon As Medicine
The Fruit Vase
Other Fruits
HERBS AND SEASONINGS
Aghaman - The Salt Jar
BEVERAGES
Did Churchill Like Armenian Brandy?
Coffee
SWEET TREATS
Tortes and Cakes
Dried Fruits
Mooraba
FEASTS, FESTIVALS AND MORE
RITUALS, TRADITIONS AND ETIQUETTE
Old Style Table Etiquette
Menu of the Armenian Urban Elite
Taking Tea in Old Armenia
The Matagh Ritual
How to Prepare Sheep for Matagh
The Lenten Table
A Perspective on Sheep and Mouflons
Feeding and Honoring The Dead
Kef
Toasting
Feasting Soviet-style
Winter Fun with Ancient Foods
Sunflower Seeds
HISTORY ON A PLATE
King Tigran's Table
Medieval Feasts of Armenian Nobles
Armenia's Strong Man Diet
Feasts for Westerners
WORD FLAVORS
FOOD LANGUAGE
"Russenanian"
Words: Why and How
Glossary of Culinary Terms
NOTES AND SOURCES
ART & PHOTO CREDITS
INDEX OF RECIPES
ARMENIAN COOKBOOKS
INDEX

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Awful.

    Was this construed as some sort of anti-armenian cookbook? It definitely reads like one. The authors of this book somehow managed to distort and marginalize the 4,000 year old history of armenians. There's truth in that Armenians have definitely taken from and contributed to the cuisines of the surroundng nations, but to take away the idea of there ACTUALLY being armenian foods is just ridiculous. Reducing the national cuisine of Armenians to some pitiful lentil soup? Because they were stateless? The absence of a state does not mean absence of a unique culture. This is supposed to be a cookbook, not an ignorant and insensitive revision of history. Armenians weren't starving to death because of some weird event that took place as a consequence of WWI, it was those silly Turkish shenanigans. Y'know. The genocide. Systematic murder and displacement. No biggie.
    This book is just insulting.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    This book is a good review of how Armenians have influenced the

    This book is a good review of how Armenians have influenced the food culture over the years. It reads more like a history book rather than a cookbook and has some interesting facts like the introduction of coffee to Europe by an Armenian. I agree with the previous commentators remarks about the significance of Armenians transcends statehood, but feel the book deserves more than a one star rating. Overall, it is interesting book and backed up with a significant bibliography of research.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)