Armenia: At Dolma Festival, A Wrapper's Delight
If you think dolma (or "tolma," as pronounced in Armenia) is simply grape leaves stuffed with rice, a visit to Yerevan's "Tolma Festival" might be in order. The event, which is being run as part of the current "Golden Apricot" film festival, certainly seems to add a whole lot to our understanding of what dolma/tolma can actually be. Among the varieties on offer (via ArmeniaNow.Com): "bean-leaf tolma (Artsakh), pumpkin unfecundated flower wrapped tolma (Lori), raspberry leaf tolma (Tavush, Sevan) and Lent tolma with rice (Dilijan)." One purveyor is offering fish dolma, wrapped in strawberry leaves. Another claims to have found an ancient recipe for dolma written in cuneiform:
Chefs say that they find many recipes in archives, even in cuneiform records, such as the recipe of the Erebuni tolma.
The Afrikyanneri Pandok restaurant chef says they got the Erebuni tolma recipe from the Erebuni museum in Yerevan. He says they adapted it to our own days and present it anew. This tolma variation was known still in 782 BC in the fortress city founded by King Argishti, the son of Menua. The recipe was in historical archives.
“It is made of chicken meat, mushrooms, string cheese, nuts. We serve it with mushroom and walnut sauce. We also present the Taron tolma. It was a dish on the tables of the Mamikonyan royal dynasty. This tolma is of sliced beef tongue, we serve it with cherry sauce. In the ancient times all tolmas were sliced. And we have an old Bayazet Lent tolma with rice and vegetables, we serve it with Cornelian-cherry sauce,” says Antinyan.
Full article here.
Sign up for Eurasianet's free weekly newsletter.