Khash and Kari in Armenia
Khash on the Kari lich is how to escape the Armenian heat. Let me explain…
Summer time and the living is easy, but probably not if you’re in Yerevan. In the capital of Armenia it gets up to 40 degrees Celsius in the middle of the summer.
Kids jump into the local fountains and the cotton is high. Mothers seek out the shade to stroll with their babies and elderly people like to stay at home where it is cooler. Men drink beer and lemonade in the park, chatting calmly and smoking. That’s what they usually do. In Yerevan. In the summer.
There is also another solution to surviving the high summer temperatures – escape from the city’s heat by taking a drive up to the highland Kari lich (Kari Lake). The road will take you to the north from the city and you will soon start to climb by the ribbon of the bumpy path.
After a couple of hours, at the end of the road at an elevation of 3200 metres there is the small lake named Kari. You can go further up to the summit of the Aragatz Mountain, but this is the domain of the most adventurous. Aragatz is over 4000 metres above sea level and is the highest mountain in the country. When the sky is clear, the view of the summit from the Kari Lake is perfect. And in the opposite direction you can see the famous biblical mountain, Ararat.
If you are not a mountaineer, you usually end the trip at the small local restaurant with its signature khash dish.
Khash is a traditional meat soup, very rich and fatty. It is served with the local bread – lavash. You crumble the bread into the soup to make it even more nutritional and hearty. It usually comes with vodka (like many Russian dishes!).
Locals love khash, but in the thick of heated Yerevan it’s almost impossible to enjoy the hot dish. Fortunately it’s another story up in the mountain where the weather is really chilly, or even cold. So, it’s a nice place to cool down and just the right temperature for hot, fatty soup with vodka.
The local restaurant has khash as the prime choice, but they also offer several kebabs, two different salads, tea and coffee. And of course there up to 30 brands of Vodka available, due to the great demand. People come with their friends and family. Only kids and drivers drink tea. The poor drivers courageously eat their khash with salad, while the others enjoy enjoy their vodka and joke, “Khash little baby, don’t you Kari.”
So, why not follow the locals to escape the heat? It is a fun and affordable day trip. If you’re ever in Yerevan with Intrepid on our Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia trip, take a taxi up to Kari Lake and enjoy the very special local cuisine.
Photo of Tatev monastery in Armenia.