Top 10 local foods to try in Georgia

Roxana Acosta Sosa25 January 20221983 views8 min. read
Top 10 local foods to try in Georgia
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What cultures left their influences on Georgian cuisine?

adjarian khachapuri To understand what cultures left their influences on Georgian cuisine, it is necessary to know what its geographic location is. Georgia moves between two great continents: Europe and Asia. However, indeed, its history dates to the s. XI, for a long time, Georgia was just another piece of the former USSR. In 1991 it achieved its independence with the fall of the Soviet Union. It borders Russia, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Tiblisi is the capital of Georgia. A beautiful city with 1.4 million inhabitants, located between mountains and on the banks of the Kura River. The name of the city comes from the word Tpli, which in Georgian means hot water and refers to sulfurous and thermal waters. Georgia is the birthplace of wine, a thousand-year-old tradition where farmers have developed and perfected cultivation techniques. It is part of the Georgian culture that conquered the tables of the Greeks and Romans to this day. Wines such as Tsinandali and Theliani stand out, all produced with the saperavi grape. Being a mountainous country, the cheeses are fabulous, and they are always present in Georgian food recipes. They are fresh, salty, cured, or macerated in wine. Georgian cuisine has a long and varied culinary tradition, where spicy dishes prevail and whose base is vegetables, bread, and meat dishes. They say that to get to know their cuisine well, the best thing to do is attend a celebration because the best gastronomy is exhibited at those parties.  Traditional Georgian food:

1. Lobio, the Gregorian national food

lobio According to some Georgian media, Lobio is the Georgian national food. Lobio, a vegetarian dish made primarily with beans, has a thousand and one different ways of being prepared in Georgia. There are many recipes, for example, thick red bean lobio or green bean lobio. Although if you travel to Georgia, the most common is to find a very runny little pot of red beans, almost like a soup with herbs and spices. To make lobio kotanshi, they use red beans, walnuts, bell peppers, and celery, and they spice it with utskho suneli, hops suneli, coriander, parsley, mint, tarragon, and garlic. On different recipe portals, they explain how to cook another of the variants: the nigozit lobio, which has fewer spices than kotanshi, while mentioning other lobs such as kirkhazi, which is more like a salad, with whole red beans or the one with tkemali, the ubiquitous Georgian condiment made with plums.

2. Jachapuri adjaruli

khachapuri adjaruli It is one of the emblems of Georgian cuisine. The jachapuri (also transcribed from Georgian as khachapuri) is a dough made from flour, water, yeast, and olive oil. However, the preparation and the result vary according to the territory's tradition in which it is made. Once rested and raised, this dough is baked filled with various ingredients, generally cheeses. In the case of jachapuri adjaruli, originating in the Adjaria region, the bread goes with two different kinds of cheese - usually sulguni and imeruli, both from Georgia - and egg yolk in the center, which is added after removing the khachapuri from the kiln. According to the experts in Georgian food recipes, this dish has its symbolism: Adjaria is in the Black Sea, which is why the bread is shaped like a boat. The egg represents the sun, and the cheese is the sea. A little butter is usually added to the filling when it is served. After this comes the key moment: one of the peaks of the dough is cut, and the egg is mixed with the butter and the cheeses. Thus begins a culinary ritual consisting of pinching the dough and dipping it in the delicious filling cream, a ritual of which you will declare yourself unconditional after trying it.

3. Khinkali

khinkali If you are wondering what food is Georgia known for? Then you should know that the khinkali is considered one of the popular dishes of Georgia. Some say it has Chinese and Mongolian roots, but it is different from Asian dumplings and contains meat broth. These little sachets, an integral part of Pshavi culture, are made from wheat flour and water. With this dough, circles are made and filled with spices such as coriander, cumin, tarragon, thyme, and minced beef and pork (although in the Caucasus area, it is more typical to use lamb). Then it is closed in the shape of a sack and boiled in water for 10-15 minutes. These khinkalis are served hot and have their way of eating. Never eat them with a knife and fork if you don't want to annoy a Georgian. You should take the khinkali "tail," bite a little edge to drink the hot broth and then eat the rest, leaving the "tail" on the plate.

4. Satsivi

chicken in spicy walnut sauce and pomegranate This traditional Georgian food is very typical at the dinner parties of all Georgian families, especially at winter parties. There are still discussions about satsivi's origin, but it is clear that it was born in western Georgia. This thesis is also supported by various food websites that place the root of satsivi, specifically in the Samegrelo region on the eastern coast of the Black Sea. Satsivi consists of chicken or turkey meat accompanied by a walnut sauce, providing the dish's differentiating and characteristic element. The walnut is an ingredient that has a lot of presence in Georgian gastronomy: in this case, it is the protagonist in a seasoning that is made by grinding this fruit in a mortar with fenugreek coriander, cinnamon, cloves, calendula leaves, and garlic.

5. Pkhali

spinach beetroot pkhali Pkhali is a very healthy snack, one of which you can eat a kilo. If you travel to Georgia and visit a restaurant, in the menu, you will find that it is written as Georgian salad since it is considered cold salads that can be prepared with a variety of fresh vegetables and herbs, and whose main component is a spicy dressing of nuts, herbs, and spices. In some restaurants, chefs prepare this pkhalis in three ways: beets, green beans, and emerald spinach. Spinach pkhalis are also known as ispanakhis pkhali.

6. Badrijani

badrijani pkhali For Georgians, badrijani is one of the most popular and widespread starters. In addition, curiously, it is one of the dishes that foreigners who visit the country request the most because it is one of Georgia's foods known for. Badrijani is grilled, or fried aubergine, eggplant, or brinjal slices surround a paste made with walnuts, celery, parsley, garlic, and spices such as basil saffron or fenugreek. It is a dish eaten throughout Georgia and is almost always served with a few pomegranate seeds on top.

7. Ostri

chashushuli The ostri is one of those Georgian food recipes ideals for winter. It's a spiced beef stew: to cook this dish, which is eaten throughout Georgia, add the meat cubes to a pot with water and bay leaf. Separately put in a frying pan chopped onion, three or four tomatoes passed through the blender, and three tablespoons of fried tomato. When well fried, it is put in the pot with the meat, cilantro, and parsley.

8. Kubdari

kubdari The kubdari has been on the list of Intangible Heritage of Georgia since March 2015, so we can add it to the list of the Georgian national food. This kind of patty originates from the mountainous region of Svanetia, in the northwest of the country, and is stuffed with pork, beef, or lamb and a very spicy dressing. According to the recipe, the meat is cooked directly in the oven, and onion, garlic, paprika, caraway, coriander, and fenugreek are added. Some portals say that the original way to make this pie also includes cannabis seeds or leaves, but that will have to be explained by those who made it so that they can pass it on to us (the recipe, of course).

9. Churchkhela

churchkhela crimea oriental We must not forget the dessert within the Georgian cuisine. In this small gastronomic guide, you could not miss one of the most traditional sweets of the Caucasus country, the churchkhela. Although it is shaped like a sausage, its main ingredients are grape must, walnuts, oats, flour, and honey or sugar. Its particular shape is because the nuts are crossed with a resistant thread introduced several times in a pot with flour, sugar, and must. In Georgia, they have a different concept from other countries in terms of sweetness; chocolate is not so abundant in their typical desserts.

10. Mchadi

mchadi Mchadi is considered bread that replaces the typical bread as cornmeal and cheese. It was born when, in the old days, people could not find wheat or when there was not enough money to buy it. It is still an integral part of traditional Georgian food. Now you know what cultures left their influences on Georgian cuisine and the top 10 local foods to try; you just need to apply to get the Georgia visa and enjoy your Georgia trip!

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