Armenians were making these sweet sheets of dried fruit centuries before the Fruit Roll-Up.
T’tu lavash (“t’-TOO lah-VAHSH”), a traditional fruit leather found throughout Armenia, resembles a super-sized Fruit Roll-Up. The sight of it will likely delight any child hooked on the popular American snack brand, as vendors often sell t’tu lavash in sheets far too big to fit inside a lunchbox. Made by sun-drying pureed fruit, such as plums, grapes, or apricots, t’tu lavash also lacks the additives found in many processed fruit snacks. The name means “sour lavash,” which refers to the thin, easily rolled flatbread that’s a staple of Armenian cuisine.
T’tu lavash, also called pastegh or bastegh, isn’t just a tasty treat; it’s an ancient, practical food storage solution for a country blessed with fruit. (Locals are particularly proud of the Armenian apricot, Prunus armeniaca, which is a national symbol.) The fruit leather can be eaten plain or wrapped around nuts for a heartier snack. Strips of t’tu lavash are also mixed with fried onions to make a traditional soup called t’ghit, which is served with lavash bread.
Need to Know
Look for t’tu lavash in markets and street-side snack stalls. Similar fruit leathers are called “tklapi” in Georgia, “lavashak” in Iran, “pestil” in Turkey, and “amerdeen” or “qamar el deen” in Lebanon, Syria, and other Arabic-speaking countries.