April 03, 2015 Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Tahinov Hats: Armenian Wonders from Ichkhanian Bakery

Ichkhanian Bakery: Fine Lahme Beajine Since 1946

I remember trying a dessert at Batchig last year, something called Tahinov Hats - baked bread mixed with tahina (sesame paste), cinnamon and sugar. I didn't like it back then and considered it to be an Armenian creation that might not appeal to everyone.


My tour around Lebanon continued while searching for the finest Armenian food out there and I was getting to know a culture that’s always interested me. In Bourj Hammoud, a Lebanese man who has been living in the Armenian quarter for the last twenty years or so makes one of a kind Tahinov Hats filled with lots of sugar and cinnamon with oil on top to give it a shine and crunch. But I didn’t think those were all that good when cold.


Ghazar, the king of Lahme Beajine, offers some Tahinov Hats which he believes are the best, but in my opinion, are chewy, dull in taste and don’t contain cinnamon, which makes all the difference in these Armenian baked goods. I left saying that I've had better.

Yesterday my idea of those amazing bites changed. I have discovered amazing Tahinov Hats, which I believe are the best I've had to date and maybe the country's finest. Sold in packs of 6 or 12, wrapped in paper and stuffed in a nylon bag, individual portions of Tahinov Hats sell for LBP1,000. A round circular dough, baked to perfection with a lightly crispy envelope and a moist, tender heart of sugar, cinnamon and surely passion. An amazing feeling under the teeth, sweetness and equilibrated flavors, which make you breathe the Armenian spirit.


The best part about those Tahinov Hats is that they're great the day after and the day after that, as if they were prepared just a minute ago.

I urge you to try them: Tahinov Hats from Ichkhanian Bakery, Zokak el Blat.


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