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The Cuisine of Armenia Paperback – April 15, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


“The book is unique, beyond all kinds of praise and appreciation.” -- Committee for Cultural Relations with Armenians Abroad, Yerevan, Armenia


'One of the things that makes this such a fine cookbook is the author's extensive notes about the history of Armenian cuisine. Uvezian reaches back to the origins of Armenian cooking, delves into regional differences, and describes the typical daily fare of the modern Armenian family. It all makes for dandy reading.

Many cookbooks get read, set on the shelf, and never used. But the tantalizing, mouthwatering recipes Uvezian has gathered are impossible to resist. They are laid out in a straightforward manner and nicely grouped, with just the right amount of elegant drawings sprinkled throughout the text.

Uvezian includes not only the dishes we are all familiar with but many surprises as well, among them dishes from the Caucasus she brought to light in the first edition of her book and which she rightly describes as 'artful combinations' yielding 'culinary gems' such as Lamb Soup with Apple and Quince ('Shoushin Bozbash') and Eggplant Topped with Sautéed Tomatoes and Garlic Yogurt Sauce.

This classy book may well contain much of the best of Armenian cooking. Anyone familiar with the heavenly elegance of this cuisine shouldn't be without it.' -- Jane Wingate, Ararat Magazine

“A stunning presentation of the rich and aromatic fare of that much-beleaguered country.” -- Mimi Sheraton, New York Magazine


“Handsome, well thought out, clearly written, authentic.” -- The New York Times Book Review


“Well written and researched, the recipes are set down with clarity and consistency, and are as original a collection as I have seen lately.” -- Jean Anderson, Publishers Weekly


“Indeed the variety, not to mention the number, of dishes presented here is staggering. Uvezian shepherds us through course after course with conscientious directions and notes. Stand-up cooks will warm to the energetic way she maximizes fresh ingredients and minimizes mystique.” -- Kirkus Reviews


“This is an exceptional cookbook containing a dazzling collection of simple and exotic recipes…A treasure that every adventurous cook should possess, one that a mother would hand down to her daughter and she, in time, to her daughter.” -- Hartford, CT Courant


“A study of Armenian cuisine. A beautifully produced tribute.” -- The Washington Post


“To leaf through Sonia’s book is to become suddenly hungry!” -- Chicago Tribune


“A triumph of a cookbook.” -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer


“My intense interest in things Armenian was inspired many years ago by several factors…a gripping novel called ‘The Forty Days of Musa Dagh’…written by Franz Werfel…’My Name is Aram’ by William Saroyan…Also, I’m very fond of the music of Aram Khatchaturian…Comes now a new reason for my Armenian enthusiasm. We used to hear a lot about ‘the starving Armenians’ but…it is hard to think of Armenians being hungry when examining ‘The Cuisine of Armenia’ by Sonia Uvezian…It is a book of recipes so rich, so lavish and exotic that most cooks will readily discard any prejudices they ever had against so-called ‘foreign’ food.” -- Josef Mossman, Des Moines, IA Register


“A scholarly work. The definitive Armenian kitchen aid.” -- Stendahl, WCBS Radio, New York


“Hundreds of echt and unusual Armenian recipes are yours for the making.” -- Women’s Wear Daily


“The standard in its field…covers the range of Armenian cookery more thoroughly than any other book on Armenian cuisine.” -- The International Cookbook Revue


“This classic cookbook… remains a standard reference for any interested in Armenian cuisine, with its range of recipes and cultural insights.” -- The Midwest Book Review


“Still the definitive guide.” -- The Reader’s Catalog

From the Publisher

Situated at the crossroads of east and west between the Mediterranean, Black, and Caspian seas, the richly historic region of Armenia has provided the world with one of its most varied and exciting culinary traditions. Fragrant with the aroma of spices and herbs and ranging from earthy peasant fare to noble creations, Armenian cuisine abounds in succulent kebabs, stuffed vegetables and fruits, opulent pilafs, delectable breads, and irresistible pastries and confections that have been perfected by generations of ingenious cooks over a period of many centuries.


The 375 recipes and variations in The Cuisine of Armenia include many highly original specialties from the Caucasus, which were previously unknown in the West. As a bonus, the book contains a number of Sonia Uvezian’s own superb creations, derived from the Armenian tradition, which are important contributions to a vigorous culinary style. Among these are Pomegranate-Glazed Roast Chicken with Apricot and Chestnut Stuffing; Fried Fish with Oranges, Black Olives, and Mint; Saffron Rice Pilaf with Toasted Almonds and Sesame Seeds; and Yogurt Cream. Also included are much valuable historical information, a selection of perfectly harmonized menus, and an excellent glossary.


Long recognized as the standard in its field, The Cuisine of Armenia is the first book in any language to offer a comprehensive view of Armenian cookery. It has received outstanding reviews from major publications and has been a selection of four different book clubs, including Book-of-the-Month Club. Written by one of America’s most gifted cookbook authors, it is a “must have” volume, whether you already own one or a dozen books on Armenian, Middle Eastern, or eastern Mediterranean cooking.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Siamanto Press-The; 3 Revised edition (April 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970971672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970971678
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #842,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sonia Uvezian was born and brought up in Beirut, Lebanon. A leading authority on Middle Eastern and Caucasian cooking and the winner of a James Beard Award, she is the author of six other highly acclaimed cookbooks, including Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen, Cooking from the Caucasus, and The Book of Yogurt. Several of her books have been selections of Book-of-the-Month Club and published internationally. Ms. Uvezian has also contributed articles and recipes to Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Vogue, and numerous other publications.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Julie Lee on December 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
When I saw the first edition of this book, which was published in 1974, I thought that Sonia Uvezian had begun her food writing career in a manner in which most other cookbook authors would be happy to end theirs. Along with its lucid and informative text, The Cuisine of Armenia showcases a dazzling collection of flavor-packed recipes ranging from the traditional to the unusual, from the rustic to the sophisticated. The following is just a (the last bite always comes too soon!); Mussels Stuffed with Rice, Pine Nuts, and Currants (will make a dedicated mussel lover out of anyone); Red Pepper and Walnut Dip with Pomegranate (excellent served as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to grilled fish, poultry, or meat); Meat and Egg Rolls (a perfect picnic or buffet dish); Meat Soup with Vegetables and Herbs (Echmiadzin Bozbash) (if you can't make it to Echmiadzin, try this); Dumplings in Yogurt or Tomato Broth (Mantabour) (guaranteed to brighten a dreary winter day); Fruit Paste Dipped in Egg (delightfully original); Oysters in Tomato Wine Sauce (excellent and uncomplicated); Spitted Trout with Tarragon and Pomegranate (simple though hardly commonplace); Roast Chicken with Apricot and Chestnut Stuffing (splendid! Uvezian's own creation); Roast Turkey with Cinnamon-Glazed Apples (easy to make and impressive to serve); Broiled Skewered Pork with Pomegranate Syrup (one of the glories of Caucasian Armenian cooking); Harput Keufteh (deservedly famous and well worth the effort); Keufteh in Yogurt Sauce (a real winner that shouldn't be missed); Ashtarak Dolma (a transcendant experience!); Baked Pumpkin Stuffed with Rice, Raisins, Prunes, and Apples (truly enchanting!); Saffron Rice Pilaf with Toasted Almonds and Sesame Seeds (elegant!Read more ›
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
I have long been a fan of Sonia Uvezian. Although all of her books are so original and outstanding that it is difficult to single out any one of them, I cannot bestow enough praise on this landmark classic, which documents the extraordinary diversity of Armenian cuisine with hundreds of authentic recipes, extensive background information, splendid menus, an excellent glossary, and handsome illustrations. Spectacular combinations like rice pilaf with flaming apples and quinces, nuts, and dried fruits (Ararat Pilaf) sit alongside earthy peasant bulghur-based dishes and soul-satisfying soups. And what pastries and confections! The dessert chapter alone is worth twice the purchase price! The same can be said for the author's own Armenian-inspired creations.
A born teacher, Uvezian gives clear and easy-to-follow directions that produce superlative results. All of the recipes I have tried have earned raves from family and friends. There are so many wonderful ones that I cannot possibly begin to list them bulghur stuffing (not your usual stuffed grape leaves; there's a great recipe for those, too) -Phyllo pastry boeregs with cheese, spinach-cheese, or meat filling (you'll dream about these!) -Lamb soup with potatoes, apples, quinces, and fresh herbs (poetry in a bowl!) -Fried fish with oranges, black olives, and mint (as appealing to the eye as it is to the palate) -Chicken in wine sauce with mushrooms, tarragon, and walnuts (a hands-down winner!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
About a year ago I purchased this classic as well as Uvezian's "Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen," and I am simply hooked! Everything I have tried has been first-rate, and I use both books all the time. "The Cuisine of Armenia" is a truly outstanding volume, full of exciting and easy-to-follow recipes that rely on readily available ingredients and simplified cooking techniques. Like "Recipes and Remembrances," it is one of the few cookbooks that will tempt you to test every recipe on every page. Not only is it a must for every Armenian household, it belongs in the library of every serious cook. It is hard to think of a book more warmly to be recommended to anyone with the slightest interest in Armenian food and culture.
This definitive guide is packed with authentic recipes for dishes that range from earthy peasant fare to elegant banquet creations. Here are some of my favorites: Lamb Soup with Potatoes, Apricots, Walnuts, and Cinnamon; Fish Kebabs Served with Grilled Peppers, Tomatoes, and Onions and Lemon Sauce; Chicken and Mushrooms with Wine, Tarragon, and Walnuts; Roast Rabbit with Sautéed Apples and Quinces; Artichokes Stuffed with Ground Lamb and Pine Nuts Served over Saffron Rice Pilaf; Melon Dolma (Cantaloupe Stuffed with Ground Meat, Rice, Pine Nuts, and Currants; Lentil and Bulghur Keufteh with Green Peppers, Scallions, and Herbs; Baked Noodles, Spinach, and Cheese with Garlic Yogurt Sauce; Braised Leeks with Tomatoes and Dill; Cinnamon-Glazed Pumpkin with Rice, Dried Fruits, and Toasted Almonds; Eggplant with Pomegranate Sauce and Pistachios; Phyllo Pastry Triangles with Apple and Nut Filling; Spiced Date- and Nut-Filled Cookies; and Armenian Cherry Brandy. I should also add that this book has some of the best vegetarian recipes I have ever seen!
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