Cuisine

The Georgian cuisine is unique to the country, 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.
Georgian cuisine is the result of the broad interplay of culinary ideas carried along the trade routes by merchants and travelers alike. The importance of both food and drink to Georgian culture is best observed during a feast called supra, when a huge assortment of dishes are prepared, always accompanied by large amounts of wine, and that can last for hours. In a Georgian feast, the role of the tamada (toastmaster) is an important and honored position.

Favorite Georgian Dishes and Snacks

Khinkali

One of the most popular and iconic Georgian foods. Khinkali are twisted knobs of dough stuffed with spiced meat, usually lamb or a pork/beef mix. (Alternatively potato, cheese, or mushroom can be used as fillings.) When the dumpling is cooked, the meat juices are trapped within. When eating khinkali, it is customary in the first bite to suck out the meat juices, before eating the rest.

Khachapuri

Along with Khinkali, Khachapuri is one of the most popular and readily identifiable Georgian foods. It is a cheese-filled bread, shaped and flavored in various ways. The two most common varieties are Imeretian, circular shaped and easily eaten on-the-go, and Ajarian, a supremely rich oblong-shaped khachapuri topped with butter and a fried egg.”

Churchkhela

One of the most popular desserts is this sausage-shaped candy, also popular in many of Georgia’s neighboring countries. It is prepared by threading walnuts (sometimes almonds or hazel nuts) onto a long string and dipping it in concentrated fresh grape juice, which dries into a gelatin-like coating around the nuts.

Georgian Drinks

Wine

Georgia is one of the most ancient wine-producing areas of the world, and its wines are popular around the world and are especially renowned among the countries of the former Soviet Union. The traditional Georgian wine-making method using clay jars has been recognized by UNESCO. Wine is produced across the country, with the southeastern region of Kakheti making around 70%, in a wide selection of varieties.

Chacha

Georgia’s national liquor is something of a by-product of its ubiquitous wine industry. Often referred to as Georgian vodka, chacha is actually distilled from the grape pomace left over after wine-pressing; however, it can also be produced from other fruits such as mulberries, tangerines, and figs. Chacha is often home-brewed, with individual families and regions putting their own special spin on the drink, and many Georgians hail the medicinal properties of chacha, claiming that it is helpful for curing indigestion and other ailments.