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Armenia: Smoked Crocodile for New Year's Sparks Sharp-Toothed Debate

Flat chance of a smoked croc in every pot for New Year's in Armenia. (Photo: Marianna Grigoryan)

Traditionally, New Year’s in Armenia is a time for dolma, honey cake and pork legs. Not for smoked crocodile.

A Yerevan supermarket’s decision to sell this “exotic delicacy” as part of its holiday offerings has added fresh bite to a debate never far from Armenia’s mainstream over the country’s yawning economic divide.


Situated on a bed of lettuce and lemons on a counter in SAS supermarket’s meat department, the 12-kilogram, 90-centimeter-long crocodile, imported from the United States, weighs in at the staggering price of 380,000 drams, or $940; roughly twice the amount of the average monthly salary.

“Who can afford such luxury?” fumed 48-year-old Yerevan dressmaker Silva Alexanian. “Once the markets used to be full with people before New Year’s nowadays; now they are empty. People have either left the country, or cannot afford celebrating New Year’s. Most of them hope for the money their relatives working abroad send them.”

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Armenia: Smoked Crocodile for New Year's Sparks Sharp-Toothed Debate

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