Zhengyal Bread – Pearl of Armenian Breads
When travelling to Artsakh, the high-altitude Earthly Paradize with forested mountains and pictorial valleys make sure to try one of the most common and delicious dishes – bread with “zhengyal”. By the way, a perfect food every vegetarian in Armenia should eat. You can find this traditional bread in many provinces of Armenia. However, it is the reputable pearl in cuisine of Artsakh region.
Bread with “zhengyal” is a flat bread with up to 30 types of wild herbs inside it. “Zhengyal” is a dialectic word translated as wild herbs. This traditional bread is baked with different types and quantities of herbs depending on the province where it is baked. However, the most unique source of the herbal ingredients are considered to be the forests of Artsakh. The main herbal ingredients used for are green onion, nettle, spinach, parsley, coriander, leaves of beetroot, etc.
Still, one of the special types of wild herbs that grows in Artsakh and is put in the bread is «ճռճռուկ» (chrchruk) translated as the one who grits. Actually, the herb grits when cut with a knife.
You can try the bread throughout the year, however, the best time is spring. Traditionally, one can eat “zhengyal” bread with a cup of Armenian “tan” (yogurt diluted with water) or tomato juice. However, the locals prefer the option of “tan”.
Bread with “zhengyal” is being baked in Artsakh since ancient times. However, it is mentioned in written sources since the end of XIX century. In 2013, it was included in the Intangible Cultural Heritage List of the Republic of Karabakh. In 2015, the First Zhengyal Bread Festival was held in Tsaghkashat village of Askeran region in Artsakh.
Well, we hope you will have a chance to try “Zhengyal Bread” and other national dishes of Armenian cuisine. Let us know which one is your favourite one?