Aveluk – A Uniquely Armenian Dish
Aveluk (Rumex crispus) or Wild Sorrel, is a fairly common plant, but it is in Armenia that Aveluk is actively harvested, processed and used as an ingredient in traditional cuisine.
Aveluk is very popular in Armenian cuisine – especially in restaurants which serve Aveluk soup or salad as ‘exotic’ fare to outsiders and tourists. Aveluk is Vegetarian and Vegan friendly dish.
Armenian villagers gather Aveluk in the spring – its peak season. For using in food, young Aveluk leaves are harvested, without a flower arrow, in which there is still little characteristic bitterness. Fresh Aveluk leaves are quite bitter, so no one eats it just like that. But during the drying of the leaves, the fermentation process occurs and Aveluk acquires a pleasant taste.
In Armenia, the Aveluk braids are traditionally made by women and are usually very long, even up to four times the height of the one who’s making them. To dry Aveluk, villagers hang the braids from the roof in a shadowy, windy place, until it is dry. Dried Aveluk keeps well and is used in recipes throughout the year.
The recipes for preparing Aveluk vary: salads, snacks and soups, pies and hot dishes. Dry Aveluk is soaked overnight before use or immediately boiled in salted water. The degree of readiness and softness depends on what you plan to cook with Aveluk: if you eat it roasted with nuts and onions, roast till its soft, and if in the filling for pies, then you can leave it to be a little harder.
Praised for their exquisite flavor and remarkable medical benefits, fresh or dried braids of Aveluk are available at numerous markets in Armenia.
To learn more about Armenia’s food & drink, please visit our ARMENIAN CUISINE page