Top foods to enjoy in Georgia
Updated: Jan 11, 2020
Okay, I admit it. I ate khachapuri for three meals in a row...
What's not to love about a bread boat filled with salty cheese and then baked to perfection?
There are different types but adjarian khachapuri is topped with an egg which gives you happy childhood memories of dippy soldiers:
Georgian cuisine has been a veritable surprise of spices and flavours, therefore, here is my list of 5 other great foods to try in the jewel of the Caucasus:
1. Badrijani nigvzit - aubergine with walnut paste
This delicate morsel is a mouthful of creamy walnut paste and punchy pomegranate seeds.
2. Churchkhela - nuts in sweet grape gel
The gel is made by reducing grape juice which is then used to cover the nuts or fruit which have been threaded onto a string.
Apparently, this was created back in the day when people went to war or on long trips as the food inside is preserved and full of energy.
The gel has a bland, leathery taste but this cheap street food is certainly an experience of textures, just try not to get the string stuck in your teeth. You can also buy square sheets of the gel (shown above) and use that to pull out your fillings.
3. Pelamushi - grape gel dessert
Similar to panna cotta in texture, this is a very light, mild dessert which leaves you wanting a khachapuri when you've finished...
4. Lobiani - bread with bean paste
For me, bean paste is too dry to have in bread but I ate this dunked in soup which stopped my mouth clagging up.
5. Khinkali - filled dumplings
So there is a 'right' way and a 'wrong' way to eat khinkali. The first time we encountered these, I thought they hadn't been cooked properly because they were still damp and the top bit was dry. Thus, I shook off the liquid and attacked it with a knife and fork:
Later on I discovered that khinkali are a very clever piece of food engineering: a tasty broth is concealed inside (which I had shaken off like a neanderthal last time) and the 'handle' is actually designed to hold the delicacy, not to be eaten.
How to eat kinkali (second attempt):
Step 1: Hold khinkali by handle
Step 2: Turn upright and take a bite out of the side
Step 3: Slurp out the tasty broth
Step 4: Leave the increasing number of handles on your plate to proudly show the world how many khinkali you can eat in one sitting.
I bought some wine from this old gent which he decanted into an old Coke bottle. You can choose the size you want - I paid 2gel (50p) for my freshly-brewed tipple.
This was a bargain because it can also be used to run the car, disinfect the sink or bleach your hair.