For those who don’t know, “Hye” is the Armenian word for “Armenian.”
The British aren’t the only ones who enjoy their tea. “Chai," or “tay” as some Armenians say, is a popular beverage among Armenians.
For the past several years Armenian church Women’s Guilds have been hosting Hye Teas as a social event. For instance, St. Leon Armenian Church in Fair Lawn, NJ, has held several successful Hye Teas. I recently purchased their Hye Tea Social booklet which contains the
recipes they serve their guests, background information on High Teas, instructions on brewing tea, and even a “Tea Quiz."
If you’ve never been to Tea Social, you’re missing something special.
The refreshments are always attractive, tasty, and dainty. (If you have a hearty appetite, you might want to have a snack before you get there!) A selection of flavored teas is offered, and served in delicate porcelain tea cups.
English Tea menus depend on the type of tea service it is: Afternoon, Cream, or High Tea. Afternoon Tea offers tea sandwiches, scones, and cakes, while Cream Tea adds clotted or Devonshire cream to the menu.
High Tea includes meat, cheese, and egg items to the mix. How does Hye Tea differ? The addition of Armenian recipes, of course!
The Ladies at St. Leon serve traditional High Tea fare but add the Armenian touch with recipes such as, Zhazhig (cheese spread) and crackers, Lebneh and pita wedges, Eech on Romaine, Basturma and Egg salad, Soojoog and Scrambled Eggs, Mini Borags, Bird’s Nests, and Kourabia.
Now, THAT’S what I’m talking about!
Here’s the St. Leon recipe for Soojoog and Scrambled Eggs:
Peel the casing off of one soojoog (variously spelled soujouk, shujuk...) sausage. Cut it in pieces and put in a food processor. Process until crumbly.
Beat 6 eggs in a bowl. Mix in the soojoog.
Heat frying pan and melt ½ Tbsp. of butter in it. Pour in the egg and soojoog mixture and cook until eggs are set.
Serve in half a pita.