Fruit-Focused Christmas Dishes: Rojik and Bastegh
You won't find a holiday feast on December 25th in Armenia. That's because they celebrate Christmas on January 6th, a date that all Christian communities used into the 4th century. But no matter when they celebrate, food is still a large part of Armenian holiday traditions. Families sit down to a delicious meal of different starters and salads like babaganoush and tabbouleh on Christmas day. Armenian meals vary, depending on the individual family's roots, but a couple treats make an appearance on most tables: Rojik and Bastegh. Now these are unique and yummy sweets!
Rojik is literally a string with walnuts attached that gets dipped in a concentrated grape juice. It looks kind of like a sausage at first glance, but is sweet and has a nice chewy, crunchy consistency. Bastegh is also made out of fruit. It is a homemade fruit leather which gets stuffed with different kinds of nuts. It was actually invented to preserve fruits, but turned out to be a delicious treat. What a healthy and delicious dessert for Christmas eve! Most of these sweets are made at home by skilled hands, but they can also be found in shops.
Eden Grinshpan graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in London with the “Grande Diplome” in both Pastry and Cuisine. After graduating she went to India to volunteer with different organizations, one of them being an orphanage called Ramanas Garden. Here she came up with the idea of raising money for the orphanage by re-opening a café, which had not been in operation for some time, and teaching the children the basics of culinary cuisine. After returning to New York City, Eden enrolled in a management program at The Institute of Culinary Education before working at the bakery, Babycakes. Eden is the co-owner of EthNicitY Productions, and hosts Eden Eats, a traveling show to find global cuisine in cities across the US. Check out Eden’s blog, Eden Eats, and follow Eden on Facebook and @EdenEats on Twitter.