SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Choreg is an Armenian specialty, especially baked at the holidays and for special occasions. For their annual Bazaar at St. John Armenian Church in Southfield, Michigan, the Women’s Guild bakes thousands of choreg to sell each year. The recipe they still use was created by the talented Dolly Matoian.
“My mother (the late Helen Sarkisian Baltayan) was an outstanding cook and baker. She encouraged me to learn to cook, and inspired me to create Armenian breads, desserts, and sweets. She loved making katah the Sepastatzi way by rolling strips of dough into a ball, and I recall seeing sou boereg dough drying on large tables. I still use her okhla (thin rolling pin). She would say every Armenian young man would want you to know how to make Armenian food,” says Dolly.
Later, when she was married, Dolly’s husband Mike was transferred to Paris for his work, and she gave up her job as Vice President of the Dorsey Business Schools to join him. They lived in Paris for 3 1/2 years, and Dolly took full advantage of the opportunity by attending Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. Founded in 1895, Le Cordon Bleu focuses its education on hospitality management, culinary arts, and gastronomy (See: https://www.cordonbleu.edu/home/en). Upon returning to Michigan, Dolly was asked to teach at a local gourmet store, and to include some Armenian recipes. “One of my first classes was teaching how to make choreg. Luckily, my students, Armenians and non-Armenians, loved the class and the tasty choregs we baked.”
Dolly continues to teach others how to bake. In response to the 2020 pandemic lockdown, the Women’s Guild began recording a series of instructional videos called Guild Gatherings. Dolly was an early contributor. Her “Choreg with Tips on Making Dough” video has been viewed over 600 times. “This recipe makes a sweeter choreg. For Easter, my mother would add bits of candied fruit.” See Dolly’s video plus more Guild Gatherings videos at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgaajJ5B0l5V_fCalkqdiHwLZU3qTyV7l
5 medium eggs