For breathtaking views of sumptuous mountain foliage and for a healthy dose of fresh air and gourmet meals, visitors should stop at the Mirhav Hotel in the town of Goris. The hotel’s gastronomical reputation has enticed tourists from both near and far for memorable eating and drinking experiences.
Master classes taught by hotel manager Gayane will reveal centuries-old recipes. Visitors will not only prepare dishes and learn about regional food culture, but will also explore the rich history of the ingredients. One of the secrets of Armenian cuisine is its use of sun-soaked local vegetables freshly picked from the organic gardens of local farmers or from the mountain heights.
The master class will also allow visitors the opportunity to prepare and enjoy up to five home-style dishes. These may include tolma—seasoned ground meat or different grains, lentils and beans, wrapped in grape leaves; zhengyalov hats— bread stuffed with bounty of organic local greens; sorrel and bean salads; and for dessert pakhlava—the delectable pastry, that despite the same widespread baking principles in many countries, stands out here with its flaky crust, distinctive layers, and nutty insides.
To complete the cultural exchange, visitors may visit a local family to take part in the traditional process of distilling vodka. During the Soviet era, almost all Armenian families had their own zavod, or tiny distilling machine with which they made their own aqua vitae from home-grown mulberries, Cornelian cherries, black plums, apples, wild pears, grapes, nuts, and rosehips. The results were amazing spirits with exceptional flavors.
Meet your host
Gayane Martirosyan is director of the Mirhav Hotel, one of the first hotels in post-Soviet Goris. The hotel offers not only safe and comfortable lodging, but also the opportunity to learn about classic Goris cuisine and its historical context. The hotel’s gastronomical reputation has enticed tourists from both near and far for memorable eating and drinking experiences.