Lance & Megan's Blog

Breakfast with Armenians


Our last day in the Carpathians was unique. Allison had gone out for one last walk, Joanne and I were showering and packing. Just as Joanne and I were finished and I had just started to read The Magician’s Nephew out loud to Joanne, Allison burst into the room saying, “Hurry up get your coats on. We’re going to go have breakfast with Armenians.” [If anyone ever says that to you, do it.]

We were a little dazed and confused, but we obeyed. We went out and met with two families from Armenia that had come to Ukraine to vacation for the holidays. Allison had randomly started talking with them and they invited her to breakfast with them at a home down the road which they were renting.

On our way there they explained what we would be having for breakfast. It was a little difficult to figure it out at first, something about a cow that was boiled for days. We had a rough time figuring out what that something was. Was it just the meat? The bones? Some other strange part of the cow? Well it was not until they pointed to their feet that we realized that we were going to be eating cow hooves. Yep, cow’s hooves that have been boiled over several days… yum!

You eat it with a garlic mixture and salt, put a mountain of dried lavash (it’s a type of flat bread, the closest thing to a tortilla here.) And I’m not kidding about that mountain, a big pile of dried lavash, then you mash it all into your cow hoof soup. It’s called hash, the ‘a’ is long.

I don’t know quite how to describe the taste. The lavash created a slimy texture to it, the garlic was a nice touch. The Armenians that we breakfasted with told us that this is their national food and it is only had on special occasions. They look forward to eating it every year.

Some of our Armenian friends

The meal was followed by chatting, laughing, tea, dessert, and dancing. They told us about Armenia, their lives in Ukraine and at home as we shared about our lives. We were so blessed to be welcomed into a family’s meal and experience a bit of Armenia in Ukraine! What other way would you want to spend your last day in the Carpathians?

I wasn't kidding about the dancing.

posted under cultural, funny, travel
One Comment to

“Breakfast with Armenians”

  1. On February 17th, 2012 at 8:03 am Rick Says:

    Great story, Megan. I remember having soup for breakfast in Kazakhstan (it wasn’t cow hoof soup however!). It seemed so strange to be eating something for breakfast that in my mind should have been for lunch or dinner. I really had to work hard to adjust my thinking. For some reason it seems okay to have breakfast food for dinner (e.g. pancakes), but not visa-versa!