I thought this would be a fun post to put together, since we are taking some time to be off the wintery roads to relax. Normally this amount of information and detail will only show up in our travel books we plan to publish one day. But, here I have it in our blog. I will continue to add to this blog post, any new dishes we may to experience, as we continue our adventuring in Armenia.
As I write this, it is snowing outside, and I can see it coming down through the picture window of the B& B we are staying at. It is suppose to snow all day, and into the evening. It is so pretty. There is a blinking light set up, in the living room, that reminds us both of the warmth of a fireplace. We pretend anyway.
Throughout our travels, whenever we have stayed for longer periods of time, in any country, we always have an opportunity to learn more about the cultures, traditions, and see more historic sites and experience more varied traditional foods! In some cases, when the food is not interesting, there is no variety to speak of, or readily available, the stay can be ever so LONG Ha!
For one example, This happened to us in North Korea, when we stayed there for a planned two months. WAY too long, as our expectations were a little to high. The fact that Bim Bap (my favorite Korean food) was available most of the time, really saved the trip. Daryl got tired of this dish. I did not! While we didn’t exactly find the Korean people very warm or friendly towards visitors, or the food very interesting, otherwise, we loved what we got to see and do in South Korea. Here are a few pictures for you to see: what Bi Bim Bap is, as well as some scenery.
Back to our current stay
Even though we are visiting Armenia in the dead of winter, we continue to enjoy this country, more and more; meaning we feel very comfortable here. The people, though shy from lack of English skills, still make an effort to communicate and are welcoming and friendly. This is always a pleasant surprise, and of course we were hopeful we would be here for about month, then move and to the next country. This is not turning out to be the case, because borders remain closed all around the world. Deep down, we knew this could be a reality. Even so, we are finding there is plenty of joy for us, when we stay put, too. By doing so, we get to immerse ourselves into the fabric of our surroundings, and it a glorious experience, indeed!
One of those joys is being able to try so many different foods, where the cooking has been spectacular. WE have great cooks, and a variety of dishes, to keep it more interesting! Perfect for the Lon-term stay. I have taken many photos of foods we have been served, since arriving in Armenia. Interestingly enough, we have seen very few menus. When we have seen a menu, they have no English words or even photos to go by. In spite of the challenges of ordering food, we have come to love Armenian dishes!
I remember at one place we stayed (the no name hotel in Amasia) I asked if they had spaghetti. I even showed a photo with spaghetti noodles and hamburger sauce over it (like Bolognese Spaghetti). I was told yes, yes, they can make that “in one day from now.” Okay, great. I looked forward to that. But, when dinner was served the next night, I got a plate full of Spaghetti noodles with a big smile…nothing else. I’ve traveled the globe long enough and very far and wide enough, through many countries, I knew the woman was not messing with me. Had I been less traveled, I may have been more suspicious of this. But no, it’s just very hard to communicate, when in this case, the woman was Russian, and did not know English; nor did I know Russian. (Why the picture evaded her, I do not know) So, I just smiled and said thank you, because I knew she thought she did good, but I knew I would not be ordering Bolognese Spaghetti again!
Another bonus of staying in one place for a longer period, is, we get to ask (through translator) for no salt or spicy 🌶 foods. A
Armenian foods are rarely spicy, so this a plus, too. But, the cooking in the Caucuses tends to be very heavy on the salt; especially certain sliced cheeses and their meats. While here, at the Artson B&B in Vagharshapat, Armenia; About 30 minutes west of the Capital city of Yerevan, we get served whatever they are cooking for their family. Fine by us, because its a bit of surprise as to what we will have for dinner, and it takes the drama of trying to figure out what they have and for them to try to tell us.
Aside from the great food, we love the quiet part of this neighboring burb to the busy noisy big city, and the new and beautiful rooms, where everything works! Plumbing, shower nozzles, shower heads, hot water, cold water, internet, etc. It has be one our favorite place we have stayed. The family; our hosts are very nice, and care very much to ensure our stay is comfortable and satisfying. If you ever come to Armenia, be sure and spend some downtime here. You will be glad you did!
A story, just from yesterday
Our host asked if we liked Rabbit meat. Of course we do and we said yes. We always have our dinner delivered to our dining area at 4:30PM; which our time pick. About 10 minutes after he asked us about the meat choice for dinner, there he was out back in the large garden area and small orchard, under a covered shed. He was skinning a good sized Rabbit for our dinner, apparently from his own fluffle or colony. Now, you can’t get a meal any fresher than that! As always, the meal was delicious; all of it!
It is not always easy to learn the names of food dishes in countries where so little English is spoken, and this is the case in Armenia as well. But, I have taken some time on researching to match food photos with their proper names, to share this post with you. You may think it would be easier to ask the names. but its not, unless the person speaks very good English, because the heavy accent totally disguises what the word sounds like, let alone how to spell it. Asking for a spelling doesn’t work, either, because even if somebody can speak some English, it doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to read any English or know our letters or numbers, which is quite understandable.