FRESNO – The Armenian Cultural Conservancy (ACC) of Fresno hosted their third annual Armenian Heritage Culinary Art Class on January 25, 2020 in the Armenian-American Citizens’ League Hall and kitchen at the California Armenian Home (CAH). The recipe selected to showcase was the Kharpertsi-style kufta – – so well-known and loved yet less made in today’s homes. With expertise, the CAH Home Guild co-hosted this session as they prepare and sell this specialty dish bi-annually.
Guild member Elsie Bedrosian demonstrated mixing the triple-ground lean meat with water-soaked fine cracked wheat in a Hobart mixer and how to assess its “doneness.” Delicately forming the outer shell is part of this multi-step process that requires much skill. To allow more time for practicing this particular technique, ACC and Guild member Mary Ekmalian prepared, formed, and refrigerated the “por” stuffing into walnut-size pieces the day before.
Approximately 40 participants including teachers, students, and guests were in attendance. To enable personalized lessons, each teacher instructed a small group of students. We thank the community kufta experts who graciously accepted the invitation to teach: Angel Bardezbanian, Anna Garabedian, Madeline Kachadoorian, Patty Kalajian, and Arda Toktas. After each group of students completed a couple trays of kufta, ACC and Guild member Linda Kaloustian demonstrated how to prepare the broth. Students and community guests enjoyed a kufta lunch which included salad, cheese berag, bourma and persimmon cookies. Everyone received a printed recipe and additional kufta to-go, along with memories from a morning of fellowship and learning more about Armenian culture and its cuisine.
The CAH Home Guild’s purpose is to promote and serve the general welfare of the California Armenian Home. Throughout the year, they host bake sales and frozen kufta sales to benefit the California Armenian Home. They meet on the third Friday of each month for a business meeting lunch and program, and welcome new members and guests. For more information, contact Mary at 559-261-1026.
The Armenian Cultural Conservancy is a 501c3 community benefit organization (CBO) whose mission is “to collect, preserve and interpret the evidence of the Armenian experience in the Central Valley . . .” with an office and memorabilia displays in The Vineyards complex at the California Armenian Home, 6720 E. Kings Canyon Road.
Office Hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, or to receive a newsletter and event announcements, please e-mail your request to [email protected] or call the office at 559-835-0837.