Armenian Food Culture
Classic aspects of Armenian food culture, developed for millennia, still remain today. Based on studies of written and verbal sources, as well as field investigation, we have obtained a substantial amount of substantiated information, allowing us to confidently design and illustrate the Armenian food pyramid. The Armenian food pyramid does not take into account the quantity and percentage of calories within the diet ratio, but rather the frequency of and proportion of the food servings, which we believe to be the most useful information. The purpose of drawing this pyramid is to demonstrate what is applied as a food and in what frequency, which helps us to better understand the connection between what we eat and who we are.
For a basic understanding of the Armenian diet, we consider the diet is primarily subdivided into two main types: plant-based and mammalian. Plant-based items are either collected from the wild or farm grown, while mammalian-based foods are obtained via hunting and cattle breeding.
The availability of food types is an important consideration for food system classification, as climatic conditions such as seasonal changes has an effect on the prevalence of certain foods. Knowing this fact, there are various classifications of foods, such as: valley, hilly and mountainous.
By identifying and classifying the types of food consumed by populations, we are able to develop what is known as a food pyramid. We do not concentrate on the content of the foodstuff basic caloric and it’s used, but our attention is given to the vitality of food, created during its gathering and preparation which, of course, is directly connected to one’s behavior and emotion.
The food supplies not only substances necessary for normal physiological functioning, but also provides us with energy. “Live fully through food in which life exists” is a proverb which is believed to be valid not only philosophically, but also from a scientific point of view (A.Mehrabian, “Influence of food on consciousness, behavior and character of the person” personal archive notebook #3, page 56). Today we know exactly how many calories, vitamins, fibers, fats, carbohydrates, etc. is necessary for a normally functioning body, but we must also understand these are not the only indicators which contribute to health. It is a proven fact – even if a person “perfectly” adheres properly to all the aforementioned dietetic items, it does not guarantee an organism to normally function and/or be healthy. Nowadays, most scientific research fails to consider life as FORCE that, when combined with certain kinds of a matter, may create LIFE. Unfortunately, the primary focus has been only on seeing life as the matter, rather than a spiritual force.