Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions

Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions
Spring time always inspires me...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Eating & Baking Laham bi Ajin at Ichkhanian Bakery

Text taken from the book Man’oushé : Inside the Street Corner Lebanese Bakery.

Another person with determination and strength whom I met while I visited different bakeries in Lebanon is Mrs. Coharik Ichkhanian. Her face inspires trust and wisdom. I met Mrs. Ichkhanian at her bakery on an early morning and asked her to talk to me about her famous Armenian meat pies. The discussion took another turn, and before I knew it, we were discussing memories of a lifetime.
“I am the youngest of five children. My parents were Armenians living in Syria. I did not finish my schooling because at the time, it was not appropriate for a woman to be educated. My husband and I met through relatives and married in Beirut in 1975, just after the war began.”  In the year 1984, Coharik’s husband died at the age 44, leaving her with three young children. She started working at the bakery in 1985. Business was at its best during the war. The bakery was full of clients. People had to eat. “Food was a therapy for all.” In the neighborhood, she has become the food expert, the reference. Coharik personally goes to the market to handpick the ingredients that will make her distinct meat pies. She explains that they have a unique taste; unchanged since the bakery opened. When I asked her why she didn’t make any other kind of pies, she answered: “The other recipes are not Armenian!” Coharik generously shared her life stories and her precious recipes with me. "

Can you taste it?

I hope this sign still exists after the fire, nostalgia!

A lovely photo of Coharik taken by Raymond Yazbeck

Sylva Konialian commented on your link.

Sylva wrote: "This brought me right back home as I was born and lived for the first 24 years of my life in the apartment just above the bakery before leaving to Canada. I knew Cohariks in laws and late husband very well. This was touching."

"I will be very happy to share. I might not remember everything but of course for one we bought all our bread from them and like you showed yesterday we took our prepared meat for the lehmajoun and they cooked it for us. Especially during Easter time, My mom use to take all the cookies and Easter breads and so were many ladies of the area and prepared the doughs into cookies and the bakery would cook it for us. One special moment that will stay with me for the rest of my life and I will pass it on to my kids is the day I obtained my Visa to come to Canada, I was so happy. I came running to my Mom to give her the good news and she was baking the Easter bread that day in the bakery. I was young and adventurous of course wanting to go to a new country and escape from the civil war in Lebanon. when I told my Mom the good news she smiled and i saw almost tears and the pain in her eyes. that meant for her being separated from me. i was her first born. those moments are still vivid in my memory. Of course my Mom is no longer with us she passed away this past December......"


Suzanne said...

Love it, thanks for posting. Left me hungry and homesick.
Suzanne Jierjian Blum

Anonymous said...

could you please tell us your channel name on you tube.your work is facinating! samir

Barbara Abdeni Massaad said...

the name is roula sidnawi's channel