Arriving in Georgia, any traveller wants to feel the true taste of national food. A colourful hospitable country is known to every inhabitant of the post-Soviet space for its substantial dishes such as khinkali, khachapuri, satsivi and shashlik (barbecue). But not everyone knows that the recipes for these dishes are individual for different regions.
You cannot argue with the ability of Georgians to arrange lavish and large-scale feasts. In any corner of Georgia, you will certainly want to try absolutely everything. In order not to gain a lot of weight at the end of the trip and in order to get the most complete picture of the culinary features of the country, check out the list of the most popular Georgian dishes.
You can find Georgian khinkali in almost all restaurants, and in some you can even participate in their preparation. The dish with minced beef and pork is not like usual dumplings. The technique of folding thin and elastic dough gives them an interesting appearance of a medium-sized bag with folds and a tail at the top.
Khinkali is only eaten with hands, holding on to the top. Tilt the bag slightly, bite off a piece of dough, and then drink the aromatic broth. Add some garlic sauce or tomato satsebeli (tomato sauce) to the spicy meat filling and enjoy a delicious taste. Yummy! It is simply impossible to resist. In restaurants, there are 5 to 10 pieces per 1 serving of khinkali, and this is quite enough for a rich lunch or dinner! The tails from the dough are left untouched, their number will tell the cook about the eater's appetite.
Khachapuri in Georgia is baked in many ways. To decide which one you like, have a little tasting.
Khachapuri in Imeretian style is a classic round cake of light dough with stretching cheese filling.
Khachapuri in Megrelian style - similar to the previous version, with an only difference in the top which is densely strewn with cheese.
Khachapuri in Adjarian style - looks like a dough boat with open cheese filling in the center. A special taste is given by a raw egg, broken in the heart of this dish. Tear off small pieces of dough and dip them into a tender filling. A little tip: if you want to prolong the pleasure, order a “peeled” khachapuri, where there will be no excess dough.
The magnificent Georgian appetizer ‘pkhali’ will appeal to the followers of a healthy diet. By consistency, it resembles a pâté prepared from boiled vegetables (eggplant, spinach, cabbage or beans) with ground walnuts.
In restaurants and cafes, you can find such a dish in the form of vegetable boats with nut dressing. Do not hesitate, the spicy taste of pkhali will grant you with sweet moments of pleasure.
The snow-white spring flowering of cherry plum in the very beginning of April is the best season when you can try chakapuli. An amazing combination of fragrant stewed lamb mixed with sprigs of young tarragon, plenty of green onions, coriander and bitter plums with sourness will delight all eaters, without exception!
This dish is served in Georgia on a festive Easter table and on St. George's Day. However, chakapuli from frozen fruits will delight you at any time of the year.
There are practically no tasteless dishes in Georgian cuisine, so it is impossible to imagine a feast without sauces. And if upon returning from a trip you again want to feel the indescribable taste of piquant food, buy a couple of bottles of sauces.
Tomato satsebeli is somewhat reminiscent of adjika, but the technology for its preparation is completely different. Coriander and savoury seasoning add a special piquant taste to ripe stewed tomatoes. This sauce is universal as a complement to any dish, clearly emphasizing its individuality.
The taste and shade of tkemali depends on the ripeness of the main ingredient - cherry plum. Only a dense cherry colour whets the appetite! The secret of this sauce lies in the Georgian seasoning Oregano, which gives it a spicy delicate aroma. The harmonious combination of sourness and bitterness is also universally suitable for almost all dishes.
One of the oldest and most delicious sweets in Georgia is, of course, churchkhela! A fancy pigtail with a matt surface in different colours will no doubt appeal not only to children, but also to adults. Its base is made up of stringed nuts. They are filled with sweet grape juice, thickened with flour from the top. That’s the whole secret!
Churchkhela is an obligatory attribute of holiday events. Once you try it, you will understand why everyone chooses longer sticks.
Georgian cuisine is full of unusual expressive tastes. To comprehend all its features, you should often come to this generous and sunny country!