Linguist Hrach Martirosyan of Leiden University tentatively connects Armenian լավաշlavaš with dialectal լափ lapʿ, լուփ lupʿ, լովազ lovaz ‘palm, flat of the hand’, լափուկ lapʿuk, լեփուկ lepʿuk ‘flat, polished stone for playing’, լավազ lavaz ‘very thin’ and assumes derivation from Proto-Armenian *law- ‘flat’. He remarks that semantically this is conceivable since this bread is specifically flat and thin. He then proceeds:
If this interpretation is correct, the Armenian should be regarded as the source of the others. This is probable since, as Ačaṙyan (HAB 2: 308a) informs, *lavaš is considered to be Armenian bread in both Yerevan and Iran (being opposed with sangak for Turks and Persians), and in Tehran this bread is called nūn-i armanī ‘Armenian bread’. Similar data can be found also for other regions. In Dersim, for instance, lavaš is seen as characteristic for Armenian hospitality whereas the Kurdish entertain with sači hacʿ [Halaǰyan 1973: 294b].
Two women making lavash in a small restaurant in Yerevan, Armenia.
Traditionally the dough is rolled out flat and slapped against the hot walls of a clay oven. While quite flexible when fresh, lavash dries out quickly and becomes brittle and hard. The soft form is easier to use when making wrap sandwiches; however, the dry form can be used for long-term storage (almost one year) and is used instead of leavened bread in Eucharist traditions by the Armenian Apostolic Church. In villages in Armenia, the dried lavash is stacked high in layers to be used later, and when the time comes to rehydrate the bread, it is sprinkled with water to make it softer again. In its dry form, left-over lavash is used in Iran to make quick meals after being rehydrated with water, butter and cheese. In Armenia the dried bread is broken up into Khash. In Armenia fresh lavash is used to wrap Khorovats and to make wraps with herbs and cheese. In Iran, Turkey and middle-east lavash is used with kebabs to make dürüm wraps. According to the Encyclopedia International, "Common to all Armenians is their traditional unleavened bread, lav-ash, which is a staple in the Armenian diet."
Lavash is made with flour, water, and salt. The thickness of the bread varies depending on how thin it was rolled out. Toasted sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds are sometimes sprinkled on before baking.
In Kashmir it is known as Lavase. It is one of the basic bread products; Kashmiri people consume it on a regular basis for breakfast. As a tradition, Kashmiri Pandits distribute lavase among neighbours, friends and relatives on several occasions, as a symbol of good omen and abundance of food. Lavase pieces with green walnut kernels folded between them are considered a delicacy.
^Albala, Ken (ed.). Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia, Volume 1. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood. p. 5. ISBN9780313376269. ...on lavash, a traditional flatbread of Armenia similar to tortilla...
^Khanam, R. (2005). Encycl. Ethnography Of Middle-East And Central Asia (3 Vols. Set) (1st ed.). New Delhi: Global Vision. p. 55. ISBN9788182200623. The t'onir is a round hole dug in the ground, which can be used for baking Armenian flat bread (lavash) and for heating the home in winter.
^Goldstein, Darra (1999). A Taste of Russia: A Cookbook of Russian Hospitality (2nd ed.). Montpelier, VT: Russian Life Books. p. 185. ISBN9781880100424. Armenian Flat Bread Lavash: Lavash has been banked for centuries in Armenia.