Having spent thousands of years fleeing from persecution, war and genocide, it may come as no surprise that there are more Armenians living in cities around the world than in Armenia itself. Bringing their culture of food with them and integrating it with the cuisine of other nations to create many wonderful variations is of course, no surprise either. As Los Angeles can boast of having the second largest Armenian population in the world, tradition and integration has brought about a culture of old time cuisine merged with a unification of a newer, more disparate style.
Though the Armenian population didn’t begin to number a significant amount in America until the turn of the 19th century, Armenians have actually been migrating to America since the early 1600’s. While many settled in cities like Boston and Detroit, still more migrated west into the California Central Valley due to the land and climate more closely resembling their own homeland. As Los Angeles began to experience booming growth in the 1900’s, more Armenians began to populate a city already known for it’s many other immigrant communities, especially in the 1970’s. The 1990’s also saw massive importations of Armenians coming to the Southern California region when the Soviet Union fell and war again plagued the ancient christian land.
Today, the Los Angeles area is gifted with an Armenian population that shares it’s diverse culture and helps to contribute in many different sections of society like politics, business, education and naturally, food. Regardless of where they arrived from, integrating into Los Angeles has seen them all come together to share a bit of their culture and history with everyone (though it’s not unusual for historically tense regional disputes to occur when discussing different classifications of food authenticity).
With so many more Armenians now rooting themselves in Southern California has also created a void needing to be filled. Many grocery stores now fill the Los Angeles area with foodstuffs from their homeland and many restaurants are also bringing an Armenian taste into their business. As Los Angeles is infused with so many diverse people from all over the world, it’s wonderful to know that the resplendent Armenian culture and traditions have found a home to grow and thrive in.