Not to be confused with the state, the country of Georgia is located in the Caucasus areas that is known for its amazing sights and even more remarkable cuisine. Due to its geographical location, Georgia’s cuisine is influenced by the fact that it was a critical points in the Silk Road, with flavors inspired by Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Caucasus food, creating a unique style of cooking. Here are some aspects of Georgian cuisine you must explore while visiting.
As an axis between Central Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East, Georgian cuisine incorporates many herbs and spices that give its dishes a distinct flavor profile. One particular spice blend of note is “khmeli suneli,” which blends together fenugreek, paprika, and coriander, although some variations do exist. This mix is critical to traditional Georgian dishes.
Of course, you absolutely cannot discuss Georgian food without first mentioning its most beloved dish, Khachapuri. While there are many different types, the most recognized version is the Adjarian khachapuri, which involves a bread boat filled with melted cheese and butter and topped with an egg.
Speaking of cheese, one of the most commonly found ingredients in Georgian cuisine is sulguni cheese, which is a soft and tangy cheese which is found in many dishes, including kachapuri. You can also find sulguni cheese in khinkali dumplings along with meat and herbs inside. Another savory pastry with meat and sulguni is called kubdari.
For those who prefer meat, do not worry. Grilled meats are very commonly found here, with meat skewers called shashlik being one of the most popular. The marinated meat can be beef, chicken, or pork, and is grilled until ready, then served alongside vegetables and a pomegranate sauce.
Georgia is also known for its wine, a tradition that goes back thousands of years. In fact, it’s actually one of the most ancient wine producing regions of the world. This traditional Georgian wine is aged in a clay fermentation pot called qvevri, giving the wine a distinct flavor.
Anyone with a sweet tooth will surely ask, what about dessert? Georgian sweets are also often made with grapes, which are very commonly found in the country. Churchkhela is a sweet treat made of grape juice and nuts, while pelamushi is a pudding that’s made by combining grape juice and corn flour.
Georgian cuisine is not very well known outside of the region, which is a shame because its variety of flavors is a reflection of the country’s rich history.