Smithsonian Folklife festival to highlight Armenian food and craft
Visitors to the 2018 Smithsonian Folklife Festival will have a unique opportunity to experience the cultural heritage of Armenia, the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage reports.
The 2018 Festival, which runs from June 27 to July 1 and July 4 to 8, will feature hundreds of artisans, designers, musicians, and cooks from Armenia, Catalonia, and other locations to highlight the importance of cultural heritage enterprise in the face of change.
Presented through ten days of workshops, demonstrations, participatory experiences, and discussion sessions, the Armenia: Creating Home program on gastronomic and artisan craft traditions will allow visitors to learn about how Armenian communities have integrated heritage into their own strategies for economic and cultural
hospitality of Armenian cooking, eating, and drinking is a source of cultural pride,” said Halle Butvin, one of the program’s curators. “We hope to convey how its deep history, a tradition of feasting and innovations in technique are energizing Armenia’s food scene.”
Visitors will learn to make the staples of an Armenian feast: breads, cheeses, and barbecued meats (khorovats). While tasting and toasting Armenian wines, visitors will learn about the recent discovery of a 6,100-year-old winery in a cave in Armenia, and how winemakers in that same region are reinvigorating the industry through their production, from cultivating ancient varietals and aging wine in traditional clay pots (karas), to a winery incubator model encouraging the growth of small labels. Participants will share their experiences with traditional Armenian recipes and the ways in which food- and wine-related enterprises have shaped their cultural identity and created a pathway for exchange—both within Armenia’s boundaries and across its many diasporas.