‘Lavash Bread’ on UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List

‘Lavash Bread’ on UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List
‘Lavash Bread’ on UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List

Lavash, a soft, thin, flatbread, found place on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List.  The flatbread of Armenian origin is immensely popular in the Caucasus, Turkey and especially Iran.  

Involving a very simple process, lavash can be made with very few ingredients. The main components of the delicious flatbread are flour, water, and salt.

The dough is rolled flat and then smacked against the hot walls of the clay tandoor oven. It is cooked in a traditional tandoor and is sometimes called Cracker bread.

Lavash when flexible can be used for a wide assortment of wraps, pizzas, and sandwiches. However when dry it can be stored for a long period of time, up to a year; dry Lavash can also be used as crackers for hummus or dips.

The Intangible Cultural Heritage List in effect from 2008 has been trying to record for posterity immaterial culture.

Thus far 103 entries from several countries have been recognized, including Music of the Bakhshid of Khorasan (Iran), Naadam, Mongolian Traditional Festival, Pahlevani and Zoorkhanei Rituals (Iran), Peking Opera (China), and Ritual Dramatic Art of Ta’ziye (Iran).

 UNESCO, the cultural and scientific organization has declared that “The knowledge and skills related to preparation, consumption and use of Lavash have been transmitted down through families; they constitute a fundamental component of identity and a symbol of friendship and reconciliation.”

Armenia has three other intangible cultural heritages: Performance of the Armenian Epic “Daredevils of Sassoun” or “David of Sassoun”, Armenian Cross-stones art, and Dudak and its Music.

Lavash bread is an essential aspect of Armenian, Iranian and Turkish culture. The use of Lavash during most meals is irreplaceable as a staple, that has increased and added to the Armenian and the Iranian cuisine as well as the Caucasus.