Montreal Gazette, Canada
Feb 2 2008


Armenian pizza isn't flat in flavour

SARAH MUSGRAVE, Freelance
Published: 9 hours ago
The snack: Lahmajoun

The price: $1.50 per pie, a fair $6 for six, and an unbelievable
$10.95 for a dozen.

The smell: Fresh and tangy with herbs and tomatoes.

The look: The sauced-up round of pita bread is briefly heated in the
oven to crisp it up, then it's folded and wrapped in waxed paper.

The taste: The extra-fine pita crackles delicately with each bite.
The surface is thinly smeared with a lively paste of ground beef,
tomatoes, green herbs like parsley, and spices including, I think, a
pinch of cayenne.

The story: This is some of the flattest flatbread pizza around. Also
called Armenian pizza or Turkish pizza, its variations are all
characterized by a top layer of ground beef or lamb, tomatoes and
heavy seasonings.

The source: Quick-serve counter Arouch in Park Extension (917 de
Liège St. W., www.arouch.com, call 514-270-1091) gets its goods from
the Arouch mothership in Laval. You can sit down in the atmosphere of
an old Dilallo Burger franchise or get your pizza to go. Either way,
people clearly come through the door with one thing on their minds.

The twist: Arouch doesn't offer just the Armenian perspective on
pizza. Made on thicker pita, Aleppo (named for the Syrian city)
features salty-tangy unripened milk cheeses, including
caraway-studded nabulsi, and red pepper paste; Greek style contains
spinach and extra-creamy feta; and zataar is a popular herb mix
featuring thyme and sesame. You can customize the pies with black
olives, pickled turnips, tabouleh, hot peppers or fresh tomato, but
it's recommended to try them plain and simple before loading on more
flavours.