As linguistic puzzles go, jevisli is a knotty one. Jevisli, if indeed that is their real name — or is even a real word, for that matter — are Armenian in origin. Nut-filled, cigar-shaped cookies fragrant with orange blossom water and cinnamon, they are delicious. There is a Middle Eastern flavor to them that is no doubt due mostly to the orange blossom water, and that lends them a bit of mystery to go along with their indecipherable name. Their construction is a little time-consuming and fiddly, but the work is worth the most excellent results. We are a little over-run with cookies (I seem to be on a bit of a mission the last couple of weeks) and so, after a little sampling, I took the rest of the batch to knitting guild. They were a hit, and disappeared quickly, which is a very good thing as Ms. Herbst says they don’t keep well past three days.

I have found in my linguistic stumbling around that if I am missing a diacritical in a foreign-to-me word, no on-line translator can save me. It is also helpful to use the same alphabet used by the speakers of the language, and I am not even sure jevisli is spelled correctly in our alphabet! Google search results credit The Joy of Cookies (this very cookbook!) with an alternative spelling (oevisli), and neither one of them seems to be an actual Armenian word. So. Is anyone fluent in Armenian? Can you put me out of my misery? շնորհակալություն.


About pattiblaine

Raised under the name of Snyder in the upstate NY town of Vestal, I've worked as a typesetter, a fast food salad bar tender, an art reviewer, a waitress, a part-time nanny, and a very-bad-with-phones temp. Once upon a time I was all-but-thesis toward a Masters in Art History. Now I'm just a mom with a lot of fiber squirreled away throughout the house. We call it insulation. In 2013 I completed a life-long learning program at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, and am a postulant toward the diaconate in the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, NY. In addition to coordinating volunteers for the soup kitchen, I volunteer as a tutor at a deeply impoverished city elementary school, and am a docent at the Memorial Art Gallery.
This entry was posted in Extracurricular, On the fly (aka from a mobile device), The Joy of Cookies and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Jevisli

  1. Alas, my knowledge of all things armenian is scant (famous King Levon from the middle ages, and some artifacts in the mus of natural history.)–
    But–i have eaten in armenian restaurants, and love the food–I suspect the cookies are good as all the other stuff.. spice and nuts.. Yummy!

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