Traditional ARTSAKH FOOD - Lavash, Trout, Lamb & Mal...Davidsbeenhere
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Armenia Travel: https://www.instagram.com/armeniatravelofficial
Artsakh Travel: https://www.instagram.com/artsakhtravelofficial/
After an awesome morning, my afternoon kicked off at Old Shushi Restaurant with my guide, Lusine. Inside, we started with some vodka similar to the rakia I’d had in Croatia and Bosnia. It was also similar to Italian grappa. Then, I tried a green, herbal drink that was good but tasted like medicine.
I started with a fatty lamb dish called Gari Khashlama and a barbecued eggplant-and-tomato mixture with capers. The fresh, moist eggplant really stood out in the mixture. I loved it with the bread!
Then, I went for the lamb dish, which had lots of herbs and onion in it. It was like butter and came from a farm right outside. I could tell it had never been frozen. Then, I went for a large hunk of the fat. It tasted like brains and was like heaven in my mouth!
We all toasted with more vodka, and then I went for some creamy, fresh, and salty homemade local cheese. Then, I dug into the trout head. There were spines everywhere in the flesh, so I had to be careful. Then, I tried the fish with some dark, rich-looking pomegranate sauce. Then, I dug right into the cheeks!
Next was a tomato omelet with capers and onions. It was amazing with the pita- and chapati-like lavash! After a bit of local house wine in clay cups, we went back for the lamb!
After our feast, we headed to Ghazanchetsots Cathedral, a 19th-century Armenian apostolic cathedral. It’s the symbol of Shushi and has a belltower, or cupola, in the middle. Inside, we headed down a tight spiral staircase under the altar. It felt like I was descending into a crypt!
It led to a chamber called God Point. It has that name because the monks felt like God was talking to them because of the echo that immediately comes back to you. It amplifies the sound and makes it seem like more voices than there actually are. We watched a man sing while we were there, and then Lusine sang as well!
Outside the church are two vendors: one inside the complex and another on the street. I bought a model of the We Are Our Mountains monument for 2,000 dram, or about $5 USD.
Then, I had to say goodbye to my friends from Artsakh Travel, as it was time to head back to Armenia via the Laçin Corridor. This road unites Armenia to Artsakh. We were only about about 90 minutes from the border.
We were in the middle of an amazing mountain range, and the road wound through them and along the cliffs. The views were incredible! I loved the multicolored fall foliage. I couldn’t even imagine what it must have been like to traverse this land 2,000 years ago. Armenian kings were very interested in Artsakh land, and Artsakh became part of Armenia in the 9th century BC.
We arrived at the border and grabbed a quick bite to eat (along with a local dog, who ate my sausage). The sun was setting and I couldn’t wait to explore more of Armenia!
Special thanks to my friends at Armenia Travel for their kindness, hospitality, and for arranging my trip. I couldn’t have done it without them! Huge thanks to everyone at Artsakh Travel as well for making this part of my trip super fun and smooth. Also, if you would like to visit Shushi, please contact Lusine.
I hope you enjoyed coming with me to try traditional Artsakh food like lavash and lamb in Shushi, Artsakh.
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My name is David Hoffmann. For the last decade, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 76 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.
I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.
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