Take a peek inside Armenia’s dolma festival, celebrating the stuffed vegetable dish.
Our Planet is a reserve of food heritages, and those who travel become an inheritable part of the world cuisine. If you are a genuine gourmet, why not visit Armenia to relish in the abundance of culinary provisions?
When you close your eyes to fancy Armenia, you are likely to imagine enchanting mountainous sceneries and sun-kissed hills. Armenia is a country with rich culinary traditions, with every region possessing its own food tradition and history. It’s a place where you can savour the rustic feel of the culinary art and rejoice in perpetual culinary bliss.
Every year, the festival dedicated to Armenian dish Dolma is being organized in different regions of the country. The first Dolma festival was organized in 2011. According to historians, the first Armenian Dolma was introduced in Sardarapat town around 3000 years ago. Dolma is a non-vegetarian dish prepared with minced meat (usually beef), mixed with rice, spiced up with pepper, cinnamon, basilica, coriander, dill (the choice of spices can differ according to tastes) and wrapped into grape leaves, cabbage or eggplant (although, Dolma with grape leaves is the more sophisticated one and national Armenian; the ones made with cabbage and eggplant are called “summer Dolma”).
On May 21, Dolma Festival was organized in Musa Ler town in Armenia. Participants from various regions presented Dolma on every taste, competing between each other: minced veal covered with grape leaves, sweet Dolma with delicious filling made out of ostrich eggs, non-minced beef wrapped into grape leaves.
Participants competed in three nominations: Best Taste, Best Appearance and Best Idea.
In the nomination for the Best Taste, the Bronze medal (third place) went to the team named “Delicious Point”. The Silver medal in the same nomination won the Restaurant Complex “Naberejny”, and the Golden medal went to the “Hay Rest” Restaurant.
In the nomination Best Appearance, the Bronze medal won “Bayazet” Company. The Silver and Golden medals went accordingly to “Ararat Hall” Restaurant and “Delicious Point” (first place).
For the nomination Best Idea (which according to the jury was the best nomination), the Bronze medal won “Hay Rest” Restaurant. The Silver medal in this nomination went to the Company “Bayazet”, and the Golden medal – to the team “Delicious Point”.
Furthermore, there were cups for the Sympathy of Beholders, Youngest Pavilion, Best Participation. It is worth noting that a Special Cup was awarded to the team presenting non-traditional (including sweet) Dolma types made with ostrich eggs and meat.
In addition to these nominations and cups, a main prize was proposed: according to the jury, the team winning the main prize, would not participate in the above mentioned nominations. The main prize was awarded to the Company “Karas”.
The longest Dolma participating in the competition was presented by “Art Laj” which was worth 23 meters-long.
At the end of the Festival, the organizers opted for the special generosity and awarded “Thank You” notes to each participating team.
Musa Ler Dolma Festival is one of the endless culinary Festivals taking place in Armenia. For example, in June we have a Bread Festival, in September- Barbeque and Harissa Festivals (Harissa is an Armenian porridge made with chicken and wheat, which originally comes from the Ararat plain). Hence, it is worthwhile to visit Armenia to indulge in the infinite culinary delights.
EuroCaucasus-Tour (n.d.). Accessed on 30 May 2016
Photo Credits: Lilit Mkrtchyan