Haul from Eastern Lamejun.

img_2171-1.jpg 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.

Eastern Lamejun
145 Belmont Street
Belmont, Massachusetts 02478

4 thoughts on “Haul from Eastern Lamejun.

  1. I LOVE Eastern Lamejun! Try the spinach and cheese turnovers in the case next to the lamejun – they’re one of my all-time favorite foods.

    What cookies are you going to make with the mahleb? I love the mahleb flavor. My mother’s choreg didn’t use any mahleb, so I need to find a good recipe that does.

    And how could people not like choreg? What were you feeding them that they thought it tasted like erasers?!?

  2. Oooh yes, those turnovers are delicious. I have to exercise a great deal of restraint whenever I shop here; they didn’t make the cut this time. Next time I think I’ll stock my freezer full of them…

    I don’t know what the name of these cookies are, but they are fairly traditional. I plan to make them this weekend, at the latest, so don’t worry — I’ll be documenting the entire escapade. Have I mentioned that I’m not that great a baker?

    Regarding the choreg, I know, right? But like I said, more for me. I’ve been rationing them out though; I’m only allowing myself one a day, otherwise the bag would be gone already!

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