Armenian barbecue called khorovats is a must-dish for every single Armenian family. As the word ”barbecue” hints, it’s a kind of pork meat grilled on a fire with the help of shampoor or skewer, although steaks or chops grilled without skewers may be also used. Many historians and best chefs say that this dish is as ancient as the nation, and it talks about the family state where father of the family was hunter who took meat home to make and serve the whole family and that’s the main reason why the dish is mainly made by men. Making khorovats is a special ”ritual” for many Armenians; even books are written indicating the way how to cook the loved dish. It’s said to be 3 main tips for cooking; 1. The distance between the fire and the skewers should be approximately 12 to 15 centimeters (about 6 inches) 2. The largest pieces of meat should always go in the middle where there is more heat for the fire. 3. Shampoors (skewers) should be placed close together to concentrate the heat from the cooking fire.
To preserve the phenomenon of khorovats and make it worldwide known, since 2009 Khorovats festival has been held in Akhtala, Lori region. Mr. Sedrak Mamulyan, the chairman of “the foundation to preserve and develop the habits of Armenian cuisine” is one of the organizers of the festival who always ensures that khorovats is not a simple dish to make, it’s a dish which proves that meat undergone thermal processing for the first time in Armenia building a background to show to the world that we developed food processing method earlier than other countries famous for their cuisine now. And the festival carries this idea and tries to broaden and involve much more competitors, who show their way of preparing the dish, and tourists to get acquainted not only with one of the treasures of Armenian cuisine, but also other cultural and cuisine values. The participants are the representatives of different restaurants from different parts of Armenia and the scope becomes wider and wider year by year.
Attend, don’t miss a chance if you are a meat lover or just seek for an unusual cultural feast. Your friends are going, and you?