Khash is a traditional festive Armenian dish mostly eaten in winter-time. If you come to Armenia in a cold season, you will most probably be offered to taste this unique masterpiece of Armenian cuisine.
There is a famous Armenian saying about khash which dates back to the old times. It says, “Khash is eaten only in the month which contains the letter “r” in their names”. This refers to the cold seasons such as fall and winter since in Armenian the months of these seasons all contain the letter “r”.
Past vs. Present
Formerly it was considered to be a dish with healing properties. In medieval Armenian medical textbook titled “Relief of Fevers” khash was recommended to eat when having health problems. In the book, it was described as a dish against snuffle or any other ailment. Previously, people also considered it as highly nutritious food and did not have seasonal “restrictions.” On the contrary, nowadays khash is a festive food eaten with a large company of friends or relatives mostly in cold seasons.
The first toast declared during a party is, of course, “Good Morning”. It is declared by somebody, in most cases the toastmaster of the table, as soon as everybody is served the dish and had already put lavash, pepper, and salt in it. When everyone’s glasses are filled with a cold vodka shot the toast is finally declared. In Armenian, they say “Bari Luys”, drink the shots and start enjoying their meals.
“For the Hosts”
The second toast is dedicated to the hosts. The toastmaster stands up from his seat and suggests to drink for the name of people who have gathered everyone and prepared the khash. In Armenian they say “Khash dnoghneri kenatse” and drink their vodka shots.
“For the Guests”
Later on, there comes the turn to drink for the guests. This toast is declared for the people who are invited to the khash party to taste the dish and to share their time with their relatives and friends. Armenians say ” Khash ootoghneri kenatse” and raise their glasses full of vodka. After the third toast the people either continue and say new toasts or repeat the same toasts but this time structured differently.
Admittedly, the toasts declared during the party are relatively brief since they are comprised of just a few words.