In July 2014, the United States Embassy in Armenia published CNN’s video about Armenian tolma on their Facebook page. Unfortunately, tolma is today recognized as an Azerbaijani dish by UNESCO.
Thanks to incredible taste qualities, Armenian tolma (also called “tolma” in Armenia) is quite popular all around the world. Its traditional variant is considered the most renowned. Its recipe is simple – minced meat, rice, onion, and spices are wrapped into grape leaves to then be cooked on small fire.
Despite the absurd decision of UNESCO, cooks from all around Armenia enthusiastically make tolma, the queen of Armenian cuisine. The below video features a festival dedicated to tolma organized by Sedrak Mamulyan. Mamulyan said: “The purpose of this festival is to aid the preservation of the traditions of Armenian cuisine. Over 23 cooks presenting 70 types of tolma participate in the festival. Additionally, we are planning to publish a book with all existing tolma recipes.” The festival was accompanied by national dances and songs.
According to researchers, tolma has more than a 3,000-year history. “In antiquity, tolma has been frequently made from grape leaves. The ancient Urartian word ‘utuli’ means ‘grapevine’, while ‘toli’ means ‘grape leave’, which the word “tolma” derived from,” told historian Vahe Atanesyan.
Undoubtedly, tolma is one of the favorite dishes of Armenians as well as a required part of a festive table.
CNN Panarmenian Tolma making festival.