The food section in today's paper carries another excellent article (linked below) by Joan Obra on Ohanyan's Deli at Shields and West Aves. Joan is a true hound, uncovering hidden jewels (I'm a native and was unaware of this place).
The focus of the article is on the meats bastirma and soujouk popular in the mideast and midasia.
She also mentions they are available at Nina's Bakery at Shaw and West along with her Armenian pastries and prepared meals.
MGA Liquor and Deli at Bullard Avenue and Figarden Drive also carries the meats and is worthy of a stop to check out their Armenian wines in handmade hand painted bottles. They have a pomegranate wine in a bottle shaped and painted like the fruit with a sipping cup sitting on top of the neck.
A couple of the more well known spots are also mentioned, Fresno Deli at Fresno Street and Gettysburg and Hye Deli at Bullard and Marks. (I've found some of the best, biggest, sweetest tasting dates at Fresno Deli).
Soujouk and bastirma are traditional Armenian meats that are eaten in a number of simple ways:
As an appetizer, serve slices of soujouk with Armenian string cheese.
For breakfast, fry thin slices of bastirma as you would bacon. Serve them with fried eggs. (Or mix the slices of bastirma with eggs in an omelet.)
For a soujouk or bastirma wrap, layer slices of soujouk or bastirma with Armenian string cheese on softened lahvosh, the Armenian cracker bread. Roll the lahvosh around the meat.
Chop soujouk or bastirma into small pieces, and brown them in oil. Add the browned meat to bulgur pilaf.
Instead of adding pepperoni to pizza, try using soujouk instead.
Cook pieces of bastirma with spinach, green beans or white beans to flavor the vegetables.
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