By Tamara Gasparyan
Photos by Armen Simonyan
“Tastes and smells” in the heart of Yerevan
One could sense the sweet smell of Armenian dishes in the air for a couple of hours during the 4th “Taste and Smell of Yerevan” Armenian cuisine festival, which was held near the park located next to Republic Square Metro Station and featured performances of Armenian songs and dances.

The festival was held as part of the “Summer in Yerevan 2018” program of events jointly organized by the Department of Tourism at Yerevan City Hall and the “Development and Preservation of Armenian Culinary Traditions” NGO.

“The goal of the festival is to enhance Armenian cuisine and present the best traditions to citizens of Yerevan and visiting guests. Since this year marks the 2,800th anniversary of the foundation of Yerevan, various pavilions feature gatas and pastries dedicated to the holiday,” Assistant to the Mayor of Yerevan Maria Baraghamyan told

Over 20 pavilions were represented by colleges, cooking schools and restaurants, and 13 pavilions were showcasing the dishes served during Armenian national and church holidays.

Megerian Restaurant was participating in the festival once again and showcased the restaurant’s dishes (exclusively Armenian, according to the representative) and the carpets made by Megerian Carpet Armenia.

“Such festivals are of a cognitive nature. Not only tourists, but also the locals see, recognize and benefit. Unfortunately, most of the locals lack awareness. We are presenting Armenian culture,” Megerian Carpet Armenia’s art critic said.

Anna & Friends was participating in the festival for the first time. The company showcased the traditional dishes of the Tyarndarach Armenian church holiday, including pokhindz (made by roasting wheat kernels and grinding them into flour), halva, aghandz (roasted wheat and hemp), gata and pakhlava.

“People look at Armenian culture differently after coming and seeing our Armenian dishes and learning about our national traditions. These kinds of festivals promote the growth of tourism,” the pavilion’s representative Azat Sahakyan told

The participants of the festival are competing in three categories, including Tastiest Pavilion, Most Hospitable Pavilion and Most Beautifully Designed Pavilion.

Last year, the participants started preparing other dishes as well. For instance, the “Yerevan” salad was presented last year, and this year, President of the “Development and Preservation of Armenian Culinary Traditions” NGO Sedrak Mamulyan instructed chefs to prepare a dish dedicated to the 2,800th anniversary of the foundation of Yerevan.

Gallery: "Fun and Tasty Yerevan - 2018" Festival