ArmenianFoodFestival

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Armenian Food Festival

In the mid 1950’s the Armenian community of Richmond founded the St. James Armenian Church. Not long after the church was founded, the church members began the Annual Armenian Food

Festival. It’s the oldest food festival in the Richmond area, and last year the church celebrated its fiftieth annual Armenian Food Festival. The festival open to the public, and the Armenian community welcomes everyone to sample their culture and tradition. During the past two years about 7,000 people attended the festival annually. The event usually occurs during the third week in September and is held adjacent to the church.

The festival features a variety of Armenian food, such as the famous Rice Pilaf (Armenian style), Fasoulia (green beans made with onion and tomato), the popular appetizer Yalanchi (rice stuffed grape

leaves), Lahmajoun ( Armenia meat pies), and beef and chicken shiskabob. The festival is also known for its tasty pastries, bourma (rolled filo with nut filling), khourabia (sugar cookies), choreg (sweet pastry), and simit (circular bread with sesame seeds). The famous beverages that are served at the festival are Armenian coffee, Armenia beer, wine and other soft drinks. The wine and beer are imported from Armenia. They have both grape wine (red, white) and pomegranate wines. According to the church pastor, “Both fruits and the wines are very tasteful because of the land in Armenia. Armenia is a mountainous country and the fruits and vegetables that grow there are very tasty,

especially compare to the ones over here.” These delicious foods are prepared by the women’s group in the church and with some help from the men. The purpose of the festival is to raise money for the church while spreading knowledge about the history and culture of Armenian. Everyone is invited to “Come dance your way while enjoying the fantastic food and pastries of Armenians!”

St. James Armenian Church
834 Pepper Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23226
(804)-282-3818

Sources:
St. James Armenian Church pastor

Profile prepared by Tegest Mesfin
February, 2009

 

 

 

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