Notes From Hairenik
December 14, 2009

On Sunday we hosted our first-ever Armenian khash party, something I never thought I would see myself doing. But in life, there's a first time for everything I've often been reminded. And it was a perfect topic to blog about.

My father-in-law did the hard work. He stayed up all night on Saturday boiling down the cow hoof bones that had been soaking for days. Apparently he once promised me that he would put the khash on for me and others who would appreciate such a marvelous feast. It's hard to find an Armenian male who doesn't. Anush has a cousin--an European Taekwondo champion actually--who is repulsed by the sight and smell of khash; he can't be in the immediate vicinity of where it is being slurped and savored. I can't say I blame him.

The older I get the more I realize how utterly disgusting khash really is. If it wasn't for the vodka--and it has to be very good--it would not be possible to sit down and eat the salted, fatty broth derived from slow-cooked cow hoofs dressed with crushed garlic. Khash is second in foods exotica only to perhaps deep-fried insects of various lengths and manifestations that are crunched on in parts of Asia. Lamb's testicles served broiled or al dente are also quite vile I should add, not that I have a notion of having appreciated such a culinary delight.

Khash is not simply a soggy, garlic-laden alcohol-infused nightmare, it is an event. It is debatable whether this locally treasured delicacy is something that can potentially be surmised as being a palatable entree internationally relished by gourmands. I was happy actually to hear in all honestly that my father-in-law wanted to make this happen at our place because despite the khashy mess, it's actually a lot of fun to eat and to be with people who love eating it. I would never have taken the initiative, I'll be honest. And nearly everyone who I wanted to be there showed up with wide grins, vodka in hand. The khash experience is always a uniquely remarkable one.

Chi Chi really overdid it this time, though.

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Anonymous 7or Blog said...
Ձեր բլոգի այս գրառումից մեջբերում է եղել «7օր բլոգ»–ի բլոգերի տեսության մեջ՝ համապատասխան հղումով։ Շնորհակալություն։

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I´m writing from Germany and I have very dear friends from Armenia.
When I was invited by their friends to have my first Khash I didn´t know what was expecting me. I imagined a wonderful smelling soup with herbs and spices and some good meat in it.
What I got was a milky fluid, almost (or let me say fortunately) without any taste.
Without lots of garlic, salt and Vodka I would never have eaten it
(1 glass of Vodka after each spoon of soup...). Poor lavash, I like it so much, but my friends asked me to put it into the soup. Great!!
But 1 year later I had my next Khash "party".
Now my friends cooked it themselves and I must say it was much better. Khash is a very special kind of meal you should eat when it is prepared by people you know very well and you trust in.
This time I really enjoyed it, I even had a second plate and I needed less Vodka (but I drank it anyway, even if not needed).
I also enjoyed sitting with the other people, it was a real party.
Khash is a very social meal, nothing for 2 or 3 people.
Next weekend we´ll have Khash again, I´m looking forward to it.

Best regards

Blogger Rafi Karnik said...
Khash seems to be very similar to a middle eastern dish known as PACHA; slow cooking of sheep brain, tongue then served on bread and garlic lemon dressing. You are right however, it is an event! I choose not to think about it too much and just dig in!
Best Regards
Auckland, New Zealand