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How to win an Armenian-style Easter egg fight

Which one will crack first?
Which one will crack first?
Photo courtesy of Lory Tatoulian

The morning egg hunts have ended and it's time for those celebrating Easter today to dig into their feasts. And in some L.A. households, time to do do a little old-fashioned egg fighting.

It's a tradition that contributor and comic Lory Tatoulian grew up with among her Armenian American family, one that she's developed some expertise in by now. So for the uninitiated (don't worry, there's no runny mess involved) here Lory offers a few tips for success.

May the best egg win.

As Armenians we’re not so much into the whole Easter egg hunt, as much as the age-old egg cracking game. The last thing we want to do is get up with belly full of choreg, lamb and pilaf, and run around looking for eggs. The traditional, sedentary, egg cracking game, that is popular with Armenians and Greeks, requires little energy exertion and lot of bad egg-cracking jokes.

Getting started:

Traditionally, Armenians dye their Easter eggs in a pot of boiling red onion skins. This gives them a glowing rose color and fortifies them as a stronger weapon to use in the egg competition.

When starting out, you want to intuitively choose the best egg in the basket. It’s like choosing a horse at the race track. You want an egg with the best form and pedigree, and just like horses, you want an egg that is lean and has more of an elongated shape. Stay away from the humpty dumpty AA jumbo eggs. No pun intended, but those crack easily.

When you pick your winning egg, then you have to pick your losing opponent, and quickly move up the ranks of family and friends until it’s you and the other last uncracked contender. It’s always good to start with family members who have annoyed you in the last year, since this is a therapeutic way to work out your issues.

Playing and winning the game:

… and you’re you are deemed the “year’s lucky person” and attacked with a smothering of kisses. In addition to winning the coveted basket of cracked eggs, you also win some sort of prize. Usually it’s $20 from grandma’s social security check. But it also can be some makeshift gift, anything ranging from a supermarket daffodil plant to a crocheted doily made by your aunt.