“HREN” – What exactly is it??

I admit it…sometimes I need help finding a recipe or answering a question. That’s when I turn to certain ‘helpers’ and readers.

Here’s one of those hard-to-answer questions that came my way. I sought the help of one of my Armenian Kitchen buddies, who provided the answer below. Please take a look, and if any of you can shed some more light on this topic, I’m all ears!


“Hello: This is a question regarding an Armenian spice. My grandmother called it “hren” phonetically with a guttural ‘ghr’ sound. I believe it is a type of basil or marjoram. Can you clarify this for me and also let me know if there are seeds for this?”


‘Hren’ definition submitted by Ara Kassabian:

Regarding ‘hren’, this is what I have found: According to the Malkhasian dictionary (the closest thing to the Oxford English Dictionary for Armenian), “khren” (variants: jakhuk, dzovaboghk, wild beet, kren) is the Armenian word for cochlearia armoracia (horseradish). Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horseradish.

FYI, the Malkhasian is now searchable online, thanks to nayiri.com.

It sounds like this is what (the reader) is looking for. I never knew the name before, but I guess I know now! 🙂

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  1. Anonymous April 20, 2012 at 8:30 am

    so so thrilled..just found the most exquisite tasting artisanal preserves from Armenia..harvest song ventures, they have a very imformative website, where u can buy as well, and dont hestitate..I stumbled across them at a local gourmet mid east shop.( have tried apricot and wild strwberry, but will get them all),.this takes me back home to what real fruit and preserves taste like, what armenian not mass produced food stuff taste like, one taste and u will know this is from the biblical lands.. u must try

  2. Anonymous April 20, 2012 at 8:43 am

    btw,, needless to say these are hand crafted, and have very little suger and no pectin.. ,so so luscious , a bit tart and not too sweet

  3. Anonymous April 20, 2012 at 8:58 am

    and since i cant find any good artisanal flatbreads here.lavash or pita, I spread mine on a really good fresh crusty french baguette,with most of the inside dough scooped out!

  4. Ara April 26, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Harvest song is definitely good. Robyn or Doug had done a post about it here some time ago. I have found that the Armenia brand preserves are pretty good as well. Not as artisanal as Harvest Song but they don't use colorants or sulfur.


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