An Unexpected Vegan Treat
On my recent trip to the Nagorno Karabakh region, I made my way into an open-air produce market. My stash of pickled cabbage was running low, so I decided to buy some more. But as soon as I entered, my focus drifted off towards the delicious smell of freshly baked bread and herbs. Following my nose, I soon spot a group of women preparing treats. I forget about the pickled cabbage and head straight to the street vendors.
I watch them as I’m waiting for my bread to cook: they begin by mixing (I’m told) seven locally grown herbs into a bowl, adding nothing other than a little oil and salt.
Then they place the herb mixture over a thin layer of dough and wrap it. Try to imagine a vegan fresh herb calzone…once wrapped, the women then cook the bread over low heat until golden brown. And voila! My bread is finally ready and I chomp right into it…the herbs are steaming hot and full of flavor. I recognize basil, parsley and dill, but the other four herbs are a mystery to me. The bread is, well, just awesome.
In my time as a Kiva Fellow in Armenia, I have most enjoyed the personal connections I’ve made with borrowers. These bread ladies are proud and passionate about their work, and I can taste it in every bite!