Gata (food)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
TypePastry or bread
Place of originArmenia

Gata (Armenian: գաթա) is an Armenian pastry or sweet bread. [1] [2] [3][4] There are many variations of gata in Armenia. Typically, specific towns or regions will have their own version. It can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes and may be decorated or left unadorned. Long ago, gata was baked in a tonir, but it is now baked in ovens. The bread is traditionally eaten at the feast of Candlemas, but is eaten during other festivities too or simply baked to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.[5]

One popular variety of it is koritz (khoriz), a filling that consists of flour, butter and sugar. Gata can have other fillings such as nuts, most commonly walnuts.[6][7] Some variations include placing a coin inside the dough before the gata is baked, and it is said that whoever receives the piece with the coin is to be blessed with good fortune. Gata from the villages of Garni and Geghard are decorated (before baking), round, and generally about a foot in diameter. Around the southern edge of Lake Sevan, in the town of Tsovinar, gata is denser and sweeter, and baked without koritz in a triangular shape without decoration.

Different types of Gata[edit]

Gata in Khoncha during Nowruz.

Some Gata resemble croissants, made from an enriched bread dough rolled into paper-thin, table-wide sheets using an “okhlavoo” (a wooden dowel dedicated to dough work), smeared with butter, rolled up like a carpet and cut into spirals that bake up layered and crisp. Others are sweeter and decidedly more cake-like, whether they're made with a yeast- or baking soda/acidic dairy-leavened dough (baking powder was, until very recently, unknown in Armenia, so most chemically-leavened baked goods are made using a combination of baking soda and an acidic dairy like yogurt or sour cream). This latter style is usually formed into a flattened disc and filled with a single layer of butter, flour, sugar, vanilla, and (sometimes) chopped nut paste known as khoritz, a mixture that's essentially the Armenian equivalent of streusel. These more simple gata are often dressed up with decorative strips of dough or by scoring patterns onto the top before baking.

Armenian woman selling Gata

In culture[edit]

Gata is traditionally eaten during various feasts. For example, during the Christian holiday (Candlemas) in Armenia. [8]


  1. ^ "Armenian Gata Lucky Sweed Bread You've got to taste at least once".
  2. ^ "A Neolithic Origin of the Cake Gata".
  3. ^ Timothy, G. Roufs PH D.; Roufs, Kathleen Smyth (29 July 2014). Sweet Treats around the World: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. p. 11. ISBN 9781610692212.
  4. ^ Windle, Holly (2008). Baghdad Barcarolle. p. 31. ISBN 9781932472783.
  5. ^ "Armenians' Favorite Gata Bread". Archived from the original on 2019-04-10. Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  6. ^ Sonia Uvezian (1996). Cuisine of Armenia. Hippocrene Cookbooks Series. Hippocrene Books. p. 455. ISBN 9780781804172.
  7. ^ George Mouradian (1995). Armenian infotext. Bookshelf Publishers. p. 100. ISBN 9780963450920.
  8. ^ "Armenian Gata Lucky Sweed Bread You've got to taste at least once".