Feel Lori: Let's explore Lori and its traditional cooking styles

Hello! I am Irina Israyelyan from Alaverdi, Armenia!

Alaverdi Location
Hi, I am Irina, I was born and raised in Alaverdi. For me Lori region is one of the most beautiful corners of Armenia. My house has a traditional Lori style stone oven – made inside the wall of the main room. This type of ovens are very common for the northern regions of Armenia, and they used to heat up the whole house during cold seasons before modern technologies took over. These days the underground oven called “tonir” is well known among the travelers who visit Armenia, however, the built-in ovens somehow are less famous. So in my place the travelers can learn about this oven and experience cooking or baking in it. I demonstrate how we make bread or sweet gata, as well as I make a traditional pumpkin dish – ghapama, stuffed with rice, dried fruits and nuts. We can also make yogurt soup with our guests and enjoy it together afterwards. 

I love traveling myself, I have been to many countries and it is always a joy for me to return one more time to those places. However, I dream of traveling to England. I have always been a big fan of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes detective stories, and always wanted to find myself in that environment. I have many guests from the UK, and I am sure that one day I will be their guest in that beautiful country. 

And even though I have traveled quite a bit, I always come back to Armenia, to my dear Alaverdi. I really want to see our city revive, it has many soviet modernism buildings worth being preserved and well presented. I would love to see the cable car functioning again; it was such an important infrastructure for our citizens. Have you seen the cable car stations? They are cultural heritage by themselves. As you know, Alaverdi was known for its copper mine, which is not active now, and to be honest, I am very glad for that. However, I believe some industries that do no harm to nature should be equipped with modern technologies and start local production. I am sad that many Armenians leave to find jobs in other countries. I would love to see Armenians living and creating in their homeland, as this is the best, hidden place in the world. 

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