It was in 2011, when Development and Preservation of Armenian Culinary Traditions NGO decided to organize a festival, which would be devoted to one of Armenian dishes: dolma. The aim of the festival was to promote the traditional Armenian meals and establish Armenian cuisine, which is considered one of the non-material cultural assets of all Armenians. The festival is also aimed to deny the wrong opinion that dolma is of Turkish origin.
Dolma is traditional Armenian dish made of ground beef, lamb and spices wrapped in grape leaves. Just like last year, this year also the festival took place in Sardarapat Memorial on July 11. The venue of the festival is not selected by chance : the first Armenian national dolma was prepared in Sardarapat nearly 3,000 years ago.
The festival kicked off with a performance by the Sardarapat Dance Ensemble. During the festival 20 pavilions introduced their varieties of dolma and the jury decided the best dolma maker among the participants of leading restaurants in Armenia and individuals from Yerevan and regions as well as representatives of the Greek and Ukrainian communities of Armenia and educational institutions.
Among the guests at the festival were participants from Russia, Iran, India and Georgia, as well as Armenian and foreign actors and directors participating in the Golden Apricot International Film Festival and officials who were also part of the jury.Besides the ordinary dish the visitors could also see dolmasprepared with crabs, chicken, types of fish and even pastry.
The objective of organizing such festival is to make Armenia more appealing for tourists, to introduce traditional Armenian cuisine to wider masses, and to introduce dolma as a truly Armenian dish.