Bread is the integral part of the Armenian cuisine whose various types were known in ancient times. The widely spread and most popular type is lavash –the Armenian traditional bread which is baked from thin bread and has approximately one meter length. Generally lavash is baked without any yeast.While baking it is being adjoined to the pre-heated wall of tonir.
The housewives keep a bowl from the kneaded dough so as to add it to the new lump next time as yeast.
Today the history of preparing lavash is among the range of forgotten traditions.
In warm weather it was much easier to find fuel for tonir such as firewood and dung , that’s why in autumn a large amount of lavash was baked. Lavash was wrapped in a special cloth and was kept in it in cold pantries during the whole winter. Before using the required amount of lavash was watered and left some time after which it was getting a fresh look.
The oven of baking lavash that is the roots of the creation of tonir also lead in remote ages. Tonir is a conical cylinder made of refractory clay and dug into the soil. There is a hole for air circulation on the wide botton of tonir and just on the ground is a tube which helps to fuel the wood. Tonir is used to bake not only lavash and other cookies but also various soups ,cereals, vegetables, fish and fowl for gammon.
By the way in November 2014 the Armenian lavash and the art of its preparation entered in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Translated by Paytsar Harutyunyan