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The fragrant, appetizing Lavash is the king of Armenian bread, it is the sacramental Creation of Armenian world.
Its sweetness is considered  to be the honest work to create bread hardly from this rocky soil for centuries. As they say: by squeezing bread from the stone.

Armenian cuisine is one of the ancient cuisine in Asia and  the oldest in South Caucasus region. The features of Armenian cuisine have been founded at least a thousand year before Christianity and have been kept nearly unchanged over the next three thousand years.
The type of oven (tonir) and utensil (crockery) had a great influence on the culinary technique, diet, and particularly on the Armenian flat bread called Lavash.


In Armenian Highland they have baked bread before the birth of Christ  in 3-2 millenniums. That confirms the clay ovens (tonir) and the relics of bread, which have discovered in variety of the old places. During the excavations of Artashat city there have been discovered tonir of that same period.
For thousands of years Armenians have used the type of bread Lavash.     In ancient times it has baked on stone (saj), later it has baked in tonir made ​​from clay and brick. Lavash has also been used in other nations besides Armenians, and that is the reason, that this type of bread has been separated by the method of preparation and forms of using in everyday life.

Lavash contains the history, the pain and the glory of an entire nation. You can lay the table with Lavash, you can survive with Lavash and you can even be proud of Lavash. Lavash is an important part of ration in every Armenian family. It is baked  in accordance with the old Armenian tradition, in the underground stone oven, which is called “tonir”. The underground, clay tonir is one of the first tools of Armenian cuisine  as an oven and as a thermal treatment tool.

Lavash is traditionally 60-70 centimeters long, 30-40 centimeters wide and 1.5-3 millimeters thick oval flat bread, which is typical only in Armenians. Traditionally the dough is made of wheat flour, water, and salt. It is knead and kept in a warm place for fermentation. Later it is rolled out very flat, and by throwing from one hand to the other, stretched. When  the dough sheets are ready, they are  slapped to the  hot walls of tonir and baked. After a few minutes delicate Lavash is ready.

The newly baked Lavash is very soft, but soon it gets brittle and ready to store. After storing it for a long time, you can bring it back to its soft condition just by sprinkling some water on it. In some villages, up to now Armenians bake lavash in autumn and keep it for use in winter. For this purpose, lavash is dried, stacked in a pile and stored in a dry place and then softened before serving.

The truth is that Lavash is the most longest kept bread in the world. It can be kept and keep its features for several months, even till one year. Because of that Lavash is the most durable and longest kept bread in the world.

The most interesting is the process of baking Lavash, which is mainly done in villages of Armenia and expresses a complete cultural event. Baking lavash is the monopoly of Armenian women.They are real experts of their job, both young and old. In far villages most newly married women are supposed to know how to bake Lavash or they learn it later, as baking bread is a very essential part of village life.
As many other flat breads, Lavash has also an ancient origin and the method of preparation has not changed much over several thousand years.That is why today we can confidently enjoy the taste and quality of the bread discovered by our ancestors. Unlike most other types of bread, Armenian Lavash doesn’t contain a yeast, which makes Lavash healthier and suitable for almost any diet. Another prominent feature of Lavash is versatility, which allows it to be used as a spoon, a plate, a pan or a napkin.

Lavash is the needful and the general ornaments of all holiday tables. There are national dishes in Armenian cuisine which are eaten only with Lavash. We should also mention, that it is impossible to enjoy Brduche with cheese,  Khurjin /saddlebag/ with  meat, Kebab  and aromatic Barbeque without fresh Lavash.  And the dried lavash is used with Armenian traditional dishes called Khash  and Panrkhash.

Through out the ages, Lavash has not only occupied the highest place in Armenian cuisine, but also acquired the sacramental meaning, symbolizing life and wisdom.


Many songs, poems and stories have been dedicated to Lavash, therefore we can proudly consider it one of the icons of Armenia. Armenian Lavash bread symbolizes Armenian’s life  and wisdom. In ancient times, Lavash was used during battles, as it lasted long it saved the soldiers from starvation. Mathers were cooking  lavash, dring  and putting it in the bags of the soldiers.

According to the legend in ancient times baking  of Lavash is the  monopoly  of Armenian  women. Man had no right to participate in the process of making dough, baking Lavash, as the hand of man was not blessed. Therefore in the custom of  Armenians they were  tarred with the same brush boys’ feet and girls’ hands.

In ancient times
in Armenia there has been a king  called Aram. Once in a battle he happened to be captured by Assyrian king Nosor.   By his condition King  Aram must be stay hungry for 10 days and on the day of 11 th he must compete with him by archery. If he wins, he will be released and will go to the relatives by the kingly gifts.

The following day Aram required his most beautiful armour to be brought to him from the Armenian army, which was deployed at the border of Assyria. Assyrian couriers set off hurriedly. Armenians recognised immediately that their king was sending them some kind of a hint, and kept the couriers all night long to gain time to think. At the dawn the Assyrians returned home and brought the armour to king Aram. None of them knew that there was the thinnest of breads hidden inside.
In those times, nobody had ever heard of such a thing as Lavash; who would have guessed that bread could be concealed in armour! Aram took the armour, but then he declared that this armour was not his most beautiful one.

Nothing could be done but to send the couriers back, and they brought back different armour. However Aram did not like that one either. Thus the couriers were going back and forth for ten days, and brought Lavash every day without knowing it.

On the 11 th day Aram and Nosor  entered into the arena. Assyrian king was sure that Aram, having been left without any bread, had lost his spirit and strength, but Armenian king was feeling frisky.
Armenian bread was given him strength, he won the competition and returned home with honor. He returned and sent an edict, that from now on in Armenia Lavash must be baked  instead of thick and various bread. Since then Lavash  became the  king  of Armenian  bread.

According  to another legend 
an Armenian lord  has been imprisoned for 20 days and he must  not  eat anyhing, after that  he must  fight  against  the  lion. Every day  his bodyguard visited  him  bringing  fresh lavash in the slot of  belt  secretly. The result is that ,the  lord wins  the lion.
This shows, that Lavash  has a  great power for  Armenians  and  it  perceives  as  a  holy relic  in  Armenian  homes.


Symbolizing the inherent love, respect and generosity of the Armenian people, Lavash is laid on the table with great reverence and respect. Lavash goes along with us, Armenian people, everywhere, for example, at wedding ceremonies. It is symbolically placed on the shoulders of the bride and groom to ensure their good luck and ward off evil spirits.

According to the Armenian mythology
: Long ago in the beginning of time, the esteemed god of warriors  Vahagn  was to marry the goddess of love Astghik. At the wedding their most honorable guest, Aramazd, god of all gods, a white Lavash puts on the shoulder of Astghik to ensure the success of their marriage.

On the way to the groom's house Lavash dropped from the bride's shoulder. Astghik was so excited at the prospect of her imminent marriage, that she didn't notice that Lavash had fallen off. This angered Aramazd and he told Astghik: "The one who drops bread on the floor can never be a wife and mother!" And the wedding was immediately cancelled.

And so Vahagn and Astghik could not be married, and sadly they remained only lovers for the rest of their lives.
And till now, during the wedding, Armenian women  walk  carefully not to drop Lavash from their shoulder and not to have an unhappy fate like Astghik.

The meaning of magic Lavash comes from many centuries ago, from our grandmother's and grandfather's admonitions, which teaches us, that the happiness is in work.
The film called ''Magic lavash'' has been shot in 1988 based on the folk-tale ''The story about the boy named Naghash and the bread Lavash''.
Naghash lived with his mother, who used to bake tasty Lavash for him.
Naghash feeds and grows up with Lavash too, but in Armenian land the boys grow up quickly, forget about children's games and became their parents' helper. One day he decides to set off in search of happiness and starts on a journey taking Lavash baked by his mother.

Having experienced much grief and sorrow, Naghash understands that one can be happy only in his native land. He returns home, clears stones from a small plot of land, and sows and waters it, using all his energy. At the end, the land bestows on him a rich harvest.


The Rolling-pin is a dough opener,a slick steek, with which are thining the dough.  It occupies a special place in Armenian cuisine, without which it is impossible to bake Armenian delicate Lavash.
They say that at first the rolling-pin has been the cane of grain Armenian goddess  Ashora. But it was not an usual cane. As soon as in Armenian land someone threw down the left overs of bread or even the crumb mixing with litter the cane was flying out from goddess's hand and hitting to the forehead of an offender of the bread and came back to goddess.
The rolling-pin has become such chuby  and plumpy banging to somebody's  forehead. Then it happened so, that people learned not to throw down the crumb   of bread and the goddess presented her cane to people.


The underground, clay Tonir is one of the first tools of Armenian cuisine, as an oven and as a thermal treatment tool. Everything that is making in pots and in tonir has Armenian origin, but only Armenians had underground tonir.It isn't accidentally that the secret of special taste of Armenian dishes /Kashika, Kchakhash, Barbecue, Khorvu, Fish, Gata, Lavash/ cooked in tonir is hidden there, where food is making.

Other nations have borrowed tonir from Armenians and are useing nowadays, but only Armenians are aware about ritual meaning of tonir. Armenians have still used tonir  thousand years ago. In the stage of sunworshipping tonir has considered the symbol of sun on the earth. Pagan Armenians have similared tonir with sunset. Every time baking bread or preparing food Armenian women have bent down before tonir, which also have meant worship for deity.

The traditional tonir has a great medicinal effect. In ancient times it has been situated in the center of the house, which was symbolizing the permanent providing of sun heat in the house. They were putting “kursi” on tonir, were covering with carpet and they were putting their feet under the ''kursi” in cold days. Tonir has also had non bacterial effect, as they have used the cow's dung, as a fuel, which has been famous for its medicinal traits since ancient times.

Formerly tonir hasn’t only an impotant meaning in Armenian culinary, but also in lifestyle.In traditional families tonir has  always identified with home. It is no secret, that in ancient times Armenian family have lived under the one roof, where, as a rule,  in the center of large room has been tonir. It was the base of Armenian family, where they were not only baking bread and preparing food, but also has proceeded  Armenian family's life in good, old times around it. They were marring, baptizeing a child and even healing near tonir. The members of family were gathering around it or at dinner time, or during the parties and the rest.

Though the rules of lifestyle have changed in time, but the custom of baking  Lavash, bread, gata and making a lot of food in tonir has remained unbreakable.

Smoke of tonir is continuing to stay the symbole of peace, unification and strengthening of Armenian home.