Lavash

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For the Caribbean island, see Lavash Island. For the cheese, see Lavaş cheese.
Lavash
Pan armenio en el mercado de Yerevan.JPG
Varieties of lavash
Type Flatbread
Place of origin Armenia
Main ingredients Flour, water, salt
Cookbook:Lavash  Lavash

Lavash (Armenian: լավաշ; Persian: لواش‎; Turkish: lavaş) is a soft, thin flatbread of Armenian origin,[1][2][3][4] popular in the Caucasus, Iran, and Turkey.

In 2014 "Lavash, the preparation, meaning and appearance of traditional bread as an expression of culture in Armenia" was included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.[5]

Etymology[edit]

Linguist Hrach Martirosyan of Leiden University[6] tentatively connects Armenian լավաշ lavaš 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:[7]

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)[8] 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].

Overview[edit]

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."[9]

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.

Lavash is the most widespread type of bread in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran.[10]

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.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
References
  1. ^ Albala, Ken (ed.). Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia, Volume 1. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood. p. 5. ISBN 9780313376269. ...on lavash, a traditional flatbread of Armenia similar to tortilla... 
  2. ^ Khanam, R. (2005). Encycl. Ethnography Of Middle-East And Central Asia (3 Vols. Set) (1st ed.). New Delhi: Global Vision. p. 55. ISBN 9788182200623. 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. 
  3. ^ Goldstein, Darra (1999). A Taste of Russia: A Cookbook of Russian Hospitality (2nd ed.). Montpelier, VT: Russian Life Books. p. 185. ISBN 9781880100424. Armenian Flat Bread Lavash: Lavash has been banked for centuries in Armenia. 
  4. ^ "lavash - definition and meaning". ahdictionary.com. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Retrieved 30 November 2014. A thin unleavened flatbread of Armenian origin. 
  5. ^ "Lavash, the preparation, meaning and appearance of traditional bread as an expression of culture in Armenia". unesco.org. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Hrach Martirosyan (February 2008)". leiden.edu. 
  7. ^ Martirosyan, Hrach (2010). Etymological Dictionary of the Armenian Inherited Lexicon. Brill Academic Publishers. p. 305. ISBN 9789004173378. 
  8. ^ Adjarian, Hrachia. Hayerēn armatakan baṙaran [Dictionary of Armenian Root Words] (in Armenian) II. Yerevan: Yerevan State University. p. 308. 
  9. ^ Encyclopedia international, Volume 2. Lexicon Publications. 1980. p. 39. 
  10. ^ The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Making Classic Breads with the Cutting-edge Techniques of a Bread Master

External links[edit]