Georgia,  Round the world

Kilometer 4640: the Mexico on Georgian plates

Unexpectedly, Georgian cuisine got compared to Mexican. After a quick analysis, I figured that there might be something in it: corn, beans and tomatoes reign in most dishes and local pallets claim that it’s spicy.

I’ve eaten things, this is not spicy, but let them have it. Chefs chop a whole bunch of coriander into each dish (well, nothing’s perfect…) and serve them with thick slices of cheese that has a soft and delicate ricotta-vibe, but keeps surprising me with its salty and sharp taste.

For some reason Piotrek thinks this photo goes well with a culinary post.

The undisputable king of the local dishes is Khachapuri, which – depending on the region – comes in several variations. The most popular one is nothing but a yeast pastry or a type of salty bread stuffed with the above mentioned cheese. Not to take anything from Georgian cuisine, yet I’m looking at this national dish with a bit of amusement. It’s kind of like taking a warm cheese sandwich and presenting it proudly to all tourists. To be fair, the pastry can also come with bean, meat or potato stuffing, each of those being a completely individual and separate dish. Obviously, a ham sandwich has nothing to do with a cheese sandwich, right?

Khachapuri in its richest version.
Khachapuri in its richest version.

Nevertheless, the condiments are quite enjoyable: the red or green ajika pepper paste, the blackberry and pomegranate sauces (or were they syrup?). The latter one will prove even more delicious and popular in Azerbaijan. The leading position on every table is taken by tkemali – plum sauce seasoned with dill and garlic. Sources state that it should accompany meat dishes, but observations make me believe that tkemali is the inseparable buddy of fried potatoes.

Churchkhela, or Georgian snickers - nuts on a string in dried grape juice. Opinions vary.
Churchkhela, or Georgian snickers – nuts on a string in dried grape juice. Opinions vary.

We wanted to show off with something of our own, something typically Polish. Proudly, we presented our hosts with three full bowls of pierogi, but they somehow didn’t bring about the expected reaction… On the next day in a supermarket two freezers packed with various types of pierogi waved to us and giggled. I guess, we’re just not far enough…

Khinkali - Georgian dumplings.
Khinkali – Georgian dumplings.


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