Georgian Food

Georgian Food

Food is a very important part of our travels, sometimes food is even the reason we travel. Try once the Georgian food and this alone, may make you to decide go and visit the country that makes such a delicious food.

“Throughout the centuries, the Mediterranean world, Arab and Mongol flavors, Persian and Ottoman kitchens, the link stretching as far as Northern India have influenced Georgian food. Today’s Georgian cuisine is a rich interplay between Mediterranean and Middle Eastern tastes. Georgian food and wine culture is best observed through Supra – traditional feast featuring a wide array of assortment of dishes always accompanied by large amounts of wine, lasting several hours”.

Dishes That Will Make You Fall in Love with Georgian Food

Georgian food

Shkmeruli Chicken

Cooked in milk and garlic Shkmeruli is a chicken dish from the village of Shkmeri, Racha region of Georgia. Chicken in a special spicy sauce with garlic and milk, often cooked on a clay pan.

Its ingredients are:

Chicken, mashed garlic and milk. Also, Racha is famous for: smoked ham (Lori, Vichina), bean pie (Lobiani) and local wines such as Khvanchkara, semi-sweet red wine of high quality.

Lobiani

Lobiani is a traditional Georgian food of bean-filled bread. In Georgia the most popular is Rachuli Lobiani, like a Khachapuri, but with bean and bacon. This bean-filled Georgian flatbread is traditionally eaten at Barbaroba, the feast of St. Barbara.

Georgian food

Khinkali

Georgian dumpling, which originated in the Georgian mountain regions of Pshavi, Mtiuleti and Khevsureti. Varieties of khinkali spread from there across different parts of the Caucasus. There are several kinds of Khinkali. Typical varieties have stuffing made from cheese, mushrooms, lamb or potato, but the most common is a meaty stuffing made with pork and beef. The proper way to eat khinkali is to hold it by the handle with your fingers and then take a small bite from the top of the dumpling. Then you can blow on the broth to cool it. When it is cool enough to eat, you slurp out the broth, and then gobble the rest of the dumpling, and repeat.

georgian food

Elarji

Elarji is a popular dish from Samegrelo region, made from coarse cornmeal, cornflour and Sulguni cheese. Elarji is usually served with a nuts sauce Baje.

Gebzhalia

Gebzhalia is an antique dish from Samegrelo, western region of Georgia. It is made from cheese, curd cheese and mint. Usually it is consumed with Ghomi, Georgian cornmeal. It has a well-defined flavor of mint which makes the dish unique.

Chvishtari

Georgian Corn Bread Chvishtari (also called chishdvaar) is a cornbread with cheese from Georgia’s Svaneti region. It is also popular in Samegrelo region but made in a slightly different way.

Georgian food

Satcivi

A thick, aromatic walnut sauce adds luscious body and earthy flavor to this Georgian spiced chicken dish. Satsivi is a food paste in Georgian cuisine made primarily from walnuts and is used in various recipes. The term satsivi is also used as a generic name for a variety of poultry, fish and vegetable appetizers made with the satsivi sauce.

Mtsvadi

Mtsvadi is one of the traditional Georgian food. Georgia is a well-known country by its cuisine and mtsvadi is one of the most popular dishes, essentially a skewered shish kebab.

Pkhali

Pkhali or Fkhali is a popular dish that can be made with many different types of leaves, including spinach, nettles, cabbage and beetroot. It can also be made with vegetables and nuts.

Khachapuri

Khachapuri is a traditional Georgian dish of cheese-filled bread. The bread is leavened and allowed to rise, and is shaped in various ways, usually with cheese in the middle and a crust which is ripped off and used to dip in the cheese.

georgian food

Georgian Cheese in Georgian Cuisine

Georgian Cheese in Georgian Cuisine

Georgia is a country of ancient history and traditions, including cuisine, which is unique but also carries some influences from other European and nearby Middle Eastern culinary traditions. Each historical province of Georgia has its own distinct culinary tradition, with variations such as Megrelian, Kakhetian, and Imeretian cuisines. Rich with meat dishes, the Georgian cuisine also offers a variety of vegetarian dishes.

But the thing that unites all cuisines of different regions of Georgia is love of cheese dishes and special tradition of cheese making. Georgian cheese has been listed among top 10 cheeses on the world cheese map. There exist thousands of different sorts of cheese that stand out for their wide range of flavors and various textures. Each country has its own method of cheese making and Georgia is no exception.

georgian cheese

“Georgian tradition of cheese making counts more than 80 centuries. This is evidenced by the pottery for the cheese manufacturing, found in archeological excavations, which are stored in the Mtskheta Museum.

Georgia is in the top ten of “cheese” countries and makes about 250 kinds of this product, but only 14 varieties of Georgian cheese are registered officially. There are 80 thousand tons of cheese produced in the country annually, and 80% from all are popular cheese sulguni and Imeretian. These particular kinds are often used in Georgian dishes, including khachapuri.

Modern Georgian cheese industry continues developing. The unique recipes old and rare cheeses were restored, and new kinds are created and the range of this everyone’s favorite dairy product expands.”

Here are some of the varieties of Georgian cheese.

SULGUNI (SULUGUNI):

Location: Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti

The famous cheese Sulguni is a pickled, young plastic cheese with a layered structure, made from cow’s or Buffalo’s milk. It is prepared by mixing the young Imeretian cheese in the whey. This cheese has also a smoked variety.

It Goes perfect with red wine. You can also fry the pieces of Sulguni, which were previously rolled in flour. Sulguni occupies the 10th place out of 12 on the world’s cheese map. The word “Sulguni” consists of two words – “Suli” and “Guli”, which is translated from Georgian as – heart and soul.

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Georgian cheese

GUDA:

(with holes and yellowish heart)

Location: the mountainous regions, Tusheti

Guda is the sheep milk cheese, prepared almost by the same technology as Imeretian. Further, it is stored in a sheep’s skin during 20 days, which is sometimes buried in the ground, after which the cheese obtains specific flavor. It Goes perfect with white wine. You can also eat Guda with bread and fresh tarragon.

Georgian cheese

IMERETIAN:

(with or without holes, “Chkinti kveli” or “Imeruli”)

Location: Western Georgia, Imereti

A young lightly salted cow milk cheese. Is prepared from the fresh, not boiled milk, that preserves its wholesome features. It refers to “not processed” type of cheese.

Hint: Goes well with red and pink wine, as well as with fresh vegetables.

Georgian cheese
Georgian cheese

DAMBALKHACHO:

(blue cheese)

Location: the mountainous regions, Pshavi and Mtiuleti

The most expensive type of Georgian cheese. It differs from the European cheese “Camembert” by the presence of penicillin and the method of natural molding.

The balls of curd cheese are dried and lightly smoked. Then they are put in a clay pot, where they are covered with a dark mould crisp.

It goes well with fruit vodka and red wine. You can melt this cheese with butter and dip pieces of bread in prepared gravy.

TENILI:

Location: Samtskhe-JavakhetiGeorgian cheese

The oldest type of cheese made from sheep’s milk with a unique and complex manufacturing technology. The recipe of Tenili passed from mouth to mouth and preserved only in distant villages of Georgia. Its basis is the curd for Chechili. Traditionally, Tenili is prepared for the winter.

“Dvrita” or “kveti” starters, made from parts of brined and dried calf’s stomach, are used for the milk clotting. During the cooking process, the cheese is stuffed and pressed into a clay pot – “Tenili” (from Georgian stuffed, pressed) for ripening. Where cheese matures for about 2 months.

Interesting: Tenili is listed in the list of intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO. Usually the pot with Tenili was opened only on great holidays, its presence at the feast was considered a luxury, demonstrating the material prosperity of a family.

Churchkhela and other Georgian Desserts

Churchkhela and other Georgian Desserts

Churchkhela is a traditional sausage-shaped candy made by repeatedly dipping a long string of nuts in tatara – a mixture of flour, sugar and Badagi (concentrated fresh grape juice). Georgians usually make Churchkhela in the autumn when grapes and nuts are harvested. Churchkhela can also be made with dried fruit (such as peach, apple or plum) and pumpkin seeds. Churchkhela is extremely delicious and energizing. It is a well-known fact that Georgian soldiers used to consume them when they went to the battle.

churchkhela

Gozinaki is a traditional Georgian confection made of caramelized walnuts fried in honey. You can also use almonds or other kind of nuts. This candy is a perfect holiday gift for friends or neighbors. It is versatile, tasty and beautiful.

Georgian desserts
Georgian desserts
Georgian desserts

Pelamushi is a favorite Georgian desserts made mainly with pressed, condensed grape juice (badagi). Pelamushi can be made with flour or flour plus corn flour. In this recipe we use the classical method of making pelamushi with flour and badagi, which is suitable for making churchkhela. These can be made with purple or white grape juice, but Concord juice gives the puddings a nice, rich color. Georgian families often grow their own grapes and crush them during rtveli, the autumn grape harvest, to make wine.

churchkhela
pelamushi

Ajarian Pakhlava also known as baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo (thin unleavened dough) filled with chopped nuts, sweetened and held together with syrup or honey. It is a staple of Turkish cuisine and is also found in Central and Southwest Asia. This sweet pastry is very popular in Georgia as well.

Kada is popular pastry in Georgia. Basically there are two types of kada – salty and sweet. Each region of Georgia has its own special recipe of preparing it. Yet sweet kada also varies, the difference is in technique and shape. There exists plain round kada, also layer kada which is cut before it is backed and also small kada pies.

qadasi

Tkhlapi is a traditional Georgian puréed fruit roll-up leather. It is spread thinly onto a sheet and sun-dried on a clothesline. It can be sour or sweet. Sweet Tklapi is made of apricots or peaches. It can also be prepared by the juice that is used in making Churchkhela.

churchkhela

Khachapuri – Georgian Cheese Brad

Different regions in Georgia have different variations of khachapuri. For the most part, the dough and the cheese mixture stay the same among the variations, it is just the shape and way it is eaten that change.

  • Imereti, the region in west-central Georgia, makes probably the best known khachapuri: Imeretian khachapuri. This version is like a double-crusted pizza, or a circular calzone, with the cheese stuffed inside. It is cut into wedges, like a pie, and meant to be eaten with a group.
  • Samegrelo, the region on the west coast of Georgia, kicks Imeretian khachapuri up a notch by putting more cheese on top. This version is called Megruli khachapuri.
  • Ajara, the region in the south west corner of Georgia, serves a version of khachapuri in which the dough is shaped into a boat that is then filled with the cheese mixture. This bread is topped with a raw egg and a pat of butter before serving.

While these three versions are the most well-known, many other regions have their own variations, changing up the shape or adding ingredients like polenta, potatoes, or hard boiled eggs.

khachapuri

Ajaruli Khachapuri – Symbol of sun and the sea

Ajarian khachapuri has a unique shape and amazing taste. While other varieties of khachapuri can be paired with breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Ajarian khachapuri should be eaten alone for either breakfast or dinner. There are several versions of Ajarian khachapuri. The Laz, a people who lived near the seacoast, contributed to Ajarian-khhacapuri by giving the dish its signature boat-like shape. Additionally, the Laz also added an egg in the middle of the dish, which is symbolic of the sun. Ajarian khachapuri is not only delicious, it is also beautiful and symbolic of both sun and the sea.

khachapuri

Imeruli Khachapuri

This cheese-filled Georgian flatbread has its roots in the west-central region of Imereti, but by now it is a popular part of the elaborate feasts, known as supras, held across the country. Georgians typically make this savory pastry with a mixture of imeruli and sulguni cheese.

Megrelian Khachapuri

Samegrelo, the region on the west coast of Georgia, kicks Imeretian khachapuri up a notch by putting more cheese on top. This version is called Megruli khachapuri.

In Upper Racha, on the Southern slope of the highest segment of Greater Kavkasioni – Racha Kavkasioni, is located health and spa resort Shovi

Resort is sprawling on the plain-type space surrounded by coniferous (spruce, fir, pine) and mixed (beech, oak, hornbeam, birch, dogwood and alder) forests and perpetually snowy glaciers. There are 16 mineral water springs, each of them is different with its contents and is used for treatment of different diseases.

shovi

Beauty of Shovi scenery and glut of mineral waters has been known from ancient times both to the residents of surrounding territories and travelers.

Shovi is an interesting place for mountain climbing, skiing, rafting. It is known that in this segment of Kavkasioni, on the elevation of 4000 m, there are several peaks that have seen no man on its slopes. Lovers of walking tours will be interested with a pathway leading to Mamisoni pass (2820 m) following the remarkable Chanchakhi gorge.

shovi

Resort in Shovi was instigated by a doctor named Shamshe Lezhava. Earlier, he was interested with resort development. In the beginning of the XIX century when he was a student at Vienna University, he was told to have covered by walking Aland, Davos, Wildungen, Baden, Karlsbad, aiming at foundation of the similar resort in his native Ambrolauri. No sooner had he returned to his motherland than he started looking for the place and he picked Shovi as the best option. He started arranging a resort in the 20-ies of the XX century. In 1928 Shovi received first vacationers. Beautiful buildings were built in Shovi (sanatorium, hotel, power plant, multiple dweller for the people who were engaged in service sector of the resort), part of which needs rehabilitation today. Natural conditions of Shovi enable to develop here mountain skiing resort.

Gomi Mountain

If you’re willing to discover amazing places of the world you should definitely visit Georgia

Be adventurous and explore wild nature and be the one to find the hidden treasure on the travelers’ map

Location of the resort

Gomi Mountain is located at 2,700 meters above sea level in Georgia’s western region, which is part of Guria-Adjara range and is notable for its unique landscape, fresh air and beauty. Small and cute houses scattered around the mountain create an incredible picture and leave you speechless!

When to visit?

In Gomis Mta resort of Guria April/May means snowed cottages from fairy tales.  June means blossom of Yellow Azalea when the resort turns incomparably beautiful in yellow colors mixed with lots of green and white, July and August means people who come here to rest and more fun, also  every August, the resort Gomis Mta holiday is held around the time of transfiguration holiday when the nature starts to change again.

gomi mountain

In September the resort turns red as bushes of yellow are all red and it starts the new cycle of long winter, lots of snow, abandoned cottages till it comes the June again and brings mystic fogs which are similar to the sea waves who hit you and leave you drunk with a strong smell of yellow mountain flowers and then the sun appears again and descends into the Black Sea which is very near from here.

Near by the mountain, there is a small lake – Chinchao, which is located above 2500 meters from the sea level.

BAKHMARO RESORT– ENJOY HEAVEN ON EARTH!

If you are looking for a heaven on the earth, we’re happy to share our experience with you.

Bakhmaro – is a high-mountain health resort which is located in the hollow of Guria Mountains covered by pine and fir trees. Mount Gadrekili, or Lechkis Seri (2520 m) overlooks it from the East. This peak is called by vacationers ‘Mount of the Rising Sun’. During the rising sun wonderful scenery opens up from the peak.

Why is it attractive?

Besides its heavenly landscape, beautiful pine forests, alpine meadows and amazing views the area is notable for its small cute cottages that are scattered throughout the green valleys with a river flowing through them.

Small cottages which people hire for 1 to 3 weeks in summer, beautiful pine forests and alpine meadows, nearby summer villages of mountain Adjarians who will serve you fresh cheese and sour cream and other local food, police station, cafe and some signs of civilization in the middle of high mountains will make you feel yourself in the different planet.

The mountains and the stars and views to Caucasus mountain range including Elbrus, Shkhara, Ushba and even Mkinvartsveri in the East will make your stay more memorable, only if mystical fogs don’t interfere, so you need to check weather carefully.

Horse Riding

Every year, on August 19, dozens of riders compete in a horse race in Bakhmaro Resort as part of the celebration of the Transfiguration of Jesus.

Brief History of Bakhmaro

“Until the end of XIX century Bakhmaro was visited only by shepherds. Shepherds were people who spread the resorts unique therapeutic features. At the start shepherds took to Bakhmaro mountains their family members on whom sound climate made positive impact. The first vacationer soon followed shepherds and was quickly cured from widespread disease – tuberculosis. After that in a short spell of time rumors about miraculous climate of the resort extended far and wide. The number of vacationers went up every year. Later on multi-faceted clinical research proved that unique climate of Bakhmaro is the best means of strengthening immunity and reinvigorating oneself, and gives wonderful results in treatment of tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases.”

Bakhmaro resort

VINOTHECA

Vinoteka is located on the most touristic and lively street in the old town (N31 Kote Abkhazi Str.) Among other all kind of wines, you can easily find organic wines at shelves on the left-side wall of the shop. Staff is friendly and well acknowledged to what they sell. Prices are fair. Prices per bottle depending on the producer and variety are from 15 to 30 USD.

WINEROOM

Wine room is a wine shop representing wines that are made in small quantities, by people who care deeply about what they do. The mission of the wine shop mission is to bring you natural wines made from sustainably grown grapes, by artisan producers using traditional methods. Wines, that are as unique as the individuals who make them.
Their wines clearly reflect their places of origin, and will introduce them to you first by giving you a sample, so that you can choose your perfect bottle or wine on tap.

VINOTEL

Vinotel wine cellar offers a wide selection of natural and bio wines:

Lagvinari’s fully natural kvevri skin macerated wines featured in six different Michelin star restaurants in Europe and span many notable varietals from both east and west Georgia.

Family wineries Gotsa, Sacnaxeli, Zaqaria, Jakeli and many others put their heart and soul into their winemaking with excellent results.

At Vinotel you will find the widest selection of varietals from different regions.

Wine Shop and Bar – 8000 VINTAGES

A newly opened wine store and degustation place. The name symbolizes the history of winemaking in Georgia that counts 8,000 years. A distinguishing part about this shop is that it organizes blind tastings for a panel of winemakers, wine connoisseurs, and sommeliers. All wines presented at bar and shop are carefully selected through blind tasting by the Independent Tasting Commission. Selection is based on the organoleptic qualities and they make sure that wines do not carry any kind of disease. At the moment they have selected 740 wines out of 1521 samples.

wine shop

8000 years old Georgian qvevri wine making tradition

Georgia is one of the oldest wine regions in the world. The fertile valleys and protective slopes of the Transcaucasia were home to grapevine cultivation and neolithic wine production for at least 8,000 years. The vine is central to our culture and tightly bound to our religious heritage. It is common for families throughout Georgia to grow own grapes and produce wine. Feasting and hospitality are central pillars of Georgian culture. These days there are over 500 species of grape in Georgia, a greater diversity than anywhere else in the world, with around 40 of these grape varieties being used in commercial wine production. As interest in natural and artisan wine making increases, a great deal of attention has recently been falling on Georgia’s ancient tradition of quevri wine-making. This method of wine-making dates back over 7000 years. The country’s ancient tradition of fermenting grape juice in clay vessels, known as kvevris, has made it onto UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

Lamaria Chapel in Ushguli – Europe’s highest village

Lamaria Chapel

Georgia is a hidden treasure on the travelers’ maps. Travel in Georgia NOW!

Despite its diminutive size, nature in Georgia is very diverse. It doesn’t matter where you go but Georgia’s nature will keep you speechless. Once in Georgia you should really consider a trip into the mountains.

The highest point is around 7,190ft above sea level. In one picture the highest inhabited village in Europe can be seen surrounded by green mountains. There are believed to be around 200 residents, which dates back more than 2000 years.  Svaneti retains a pristine medieval quality.

A short walk above the village leads to a small hilltop where the Lamaria Chapel is located, full of magnificent old frescoes, dating back to the 12th century. The superb location of Ushguli and the unique lifestyle of the people in the village turn the place into a popular destination to visit.

It is a once in a life time experience, don’t miss out on it!

Lamaria Chapel, USHGULI 村
Lamaria Chapel, USHGULI 村