Armenian National Winter Soup: Khash

Can you imagine leaving Italy without tasting famous Italian pasta and pizza. No?! The same is with Armenian Khash.
Starting from early September, Armenians begin to remind each other that the season of Khash is already open and it’s time to gather around the winter soup. If you ask Armenians the best time for tasting Khash, probably everyone will reply “all months, the names of which contain letter ‘R’”; it means that you can eat khash starting from September till April. These are chilled and wintery months in Armenia.

Origins

Name of the winter soup is the shortened version of the Armenian verb “khashél” that is “to boil”. Khash is mostly made of feet and stomach of cow or sheep. The recipe may seem simple but one should master special skills to cook really tasty winter soup. Even children in Armenia know that Khash is generally served early in the morning. People say that this “ritual” of eating Khash early in the morning started from days of yore.

During that period, the rich took only the meat after slaughtering an animal. The poor picked up thrown feet and entrails of the animal and cooked them. As they didn’t want anyone to know what they eat, the soup was made early in the morning. But if you ever tasted Khash you will verify the rightfulness of eating this delicious winter soup early in the morning, as it is very difficult to digest. Many people, who are going to eat Khash, avoid eating anything from the previous evening.

How to Eat Khash

If you ever were a guest to any Armenian family you will state that the table laid before you contains all the appetizing dishes, fruits and vegetables that one can find in Armenia. Unlike other kinds of Armenian dishes, there are limited supporting constituents that suit to serve with Khash; garlic, salt, greens, radishes, lavash (UNESCO), mineral water, and a good portion of vodka. The interesting thing is that during preparation no one puts any spices and even salt in the bouillon.

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