Keith and I went to Eastern Lamejun in Belmont to stock up on a few things, since our supply was running frighteningly low. This is a partial representation of our loot — oversize pita bread (which I grew up calling hahts, which means bread), choreg, peanuts rolled in sesame, pastries from a great patisserie in Montréal and the powder is mahleb, a spice made from sour cherry pits. We also got some dolma (stuffed grape leaves), manayeesh, bulgur, carraway seeds and a couple dozen lamejun, which everyone always describes as “Amenian pizza.” I suppose I understand why, but lamejun is so much better: ground beef (or lamb), spices, minced tomato and onion spread over a super-thin round of dough that’s baked until crisp and then drizzled with lemon juice. Try and tell me that doesn’t sound delicious.
There were two items I specifically wanted to get: the choreg, and the mahleb. The former because I love it, and the latter because it’s an integral part of an Armenian cookie recipe that I’ve been meaning to try for a while now. I’ll let you know how it goes once I’m able to bake them.
But the choreg… I love choreg. Admittedly, I’ve never been to convert anyone to choreg; Keith says it tastes like sawdust, and someone else once told me pencil erasers. To me, those two descriptions are completely insane. I love its mild sweetness and the familiar smell of it, which pervades even through its sealed plastic bag, and makes me think of my grandmother. I love how the mahleb gives it a faintly nutty taste and how, when you inhale deeply, it smells of butter. I love its slick exterior texture, from the egg glaze, and its soft, fluffy insides. Mostly, I love the way it feels in my mouth, as I chew it.
To all the choreg naysayers — you don’t know what you’re missing. In fact, I hope you never like choreg. More for me.
145 Belmont Street
Belmont, Massachusetts 02478