press release: Since the 1930s, the Armenian community of Milwaukee has gathered every summer for a picnic featuring traditional Mediterranean dishes made from old family recipes. This family picnic has grown into Armenian Fest, an increasingly popular attraction for Milwaukee festival goers seeking alternatives to hamburgers and bratwurst.
Armenian cuisine has many similarities to the cooking of Greece and other Eastern Mediterranean nations, but includes a number of unique dishes and often draws from a different array of spices and seasonings than the recipes of its neighbors.
At this year’s Armenian Fest, held rain or shine 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, July 23, on the grounds of St. John the Baptist Armenian Orthodox Church, 7825 W. Layton Ave., the menu will include chicken and beef kebob, cheese and spinach burek, lahmajoun (a pizza-like meat dish served on thin tortilla dough), humus (a dip made of chick peas), tabouleh (a green salad without lettuce), choreg (bread sticks), vegetarian and meat sarma (stuffed grape leaves) and a mouthwatering array of baklava and other traditional pastries.
Armenian wine will be served, along with beer and soft drinks. In addition to food, Armenian Fest offers a cultural booth selling books and artifacts relating to Armenia, a nation that already existed at the time of the Mesopotamians and has outlasted many of its larger, more powerful neighbors. There will also be live Armenian music. Admission is free.