Georgia is a beautiful country found between Turkey and Russia. Life is simple in Georgia because it remains relatively untouched by tourist crowds and commercialism. One of the highlights of visiting Georgia is getting to taste the local cuisine. However, it isn’t necessary anymore to travel to Georgia to sample their delicious food because there are now people selling Georgian food in different parts of the world including the United States.
The cuisine in Georgia is a mix of different European, Western Asia, and Middle East influences. They love to use walnuts as a thickening ingredients, cheese, vegetable, spiced meats, garlic, spices, and herbs. Each province in Georgia has its distinct cooking style and flavor. More interesting is that many Georgian foods are excellent vegetarian dishes!
Khachapuri – This is cheese bread cooked in a thin crust and shaped in many different ways, although the most common shape is a circle. Sometimes, the filling can include eggs, butter and vegetables but usually, it’s just aged or fresh cheese that melts as the bread cooks.
Lobiani – This is another type of bread made with red beans and sweet onions
Khinkali – Though these look like ordinary Asian dumplings, Khinkali is a delicious blend of spiced beef, lamb or pork stuffed inside a hand-rolled dimsum wrapper and sprinkled with special spices and black pepper. Khinkali can also be serves as a vegetarian dish using mushrooms, cheese and potatoes. At first bite, expect juices to flow out which would explain why most Georgians eat Khinkali by sucking in on the first bite to avoid the mess of the dumpling falling apart. The top of the dumpling is usually taken out and not eaten since it can be a little tough to chew.
Pkhali – This is a kidney bean spread mixed with walnuts, balsamic vinegar, garlic, cilantro, and spices. It is usually served with mchadi which is a Georgian corn bread with molasses.
Chicken Blintzes – Served with spicy salsa, chicken blintzes is baked chicken that is ground and mixed with onions, salt, and pepper and shaped into something that looks like a spring roll using a wrap. The chicken can be replaced by cooked eggs, fish, cheese, or vegetables.
Most of Georgian food goes well with wine which is the traditional way of eating in many Georgian homes and during special occasions. If not wine, special bottled water called Borjomi is recommended which is natural carbonated mineral water from Borjomi valley where the water comes from the glaciers of the Bakuriani Mountains.