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Culinary Georgia

In Georgia, guests are believed to be a ‘gift from God’. When attending a supra (a traditional Georgian feast) you’ll be welcomed joyously and a tamade (a toastmaster) will look after you and make sure you are always entertained and provided with food and drink. Want to join in? Raise a glass and say “Gaumarjos!” (cheers).

 
Georgia is fast becoming a foodie destination, with a focus on locally produced ingredients, hearty dishes and cheese (lots of it!). The so-called ‘national dish’ of Georgia, khachapuri is the perfect winter warmer. This traditional leavened bread is canoe-like in shape, with gooey melted sulgani cheese baked into the middle, then topped with chunks of butter and an egg cracked onto the top. It’s ubiquitous across Georgia and can be found at most hole-in-the-wall bakeries and restaurants. Each region has its own twist with vegetables or different meats, so you’ll just have to try them all!
Making the Georgian soup dumpling khinkali is an art form – experienced cooks will tell you that any fewer than 20 folds is the work of an amateur – but when faced with a plate piled with these slippery, meat-broth-filled parcels you’ll find yourself too distracted by the delicious aromas to count them. Eating khinkali has a specific set of rules too: they’re finger foods, with the little knot at the top used for lifting them. You then bite a hole in the side to slurp out the soup before eating the rest of the dumpling, discarding the knot.
Churchkhela look like sausages but are in fact colourful sweets made from walnuts with concentrated grape juice left over from the annual wine harvest. Each layer is left to dry until the whole strand is enveloped in a dry, waxy crust – tastier than it sounds. You’ll see churchkhela for sale everywhere on the side of the road and they’re considered a staple of Georgian cuisine, even being taken to war by Georgian soldiers as a boost of protein (and sugar).
Georgia is considered the birthplace of wine. Kakheti is Georgia’s most well-regarded wine region and one of the oldest in the world. With many natural springs and mineral-rich water from the Caucasian Mountains, as well as warm summers and mild winters, Georgia’s climate is ideal for wine production. Head to Kondoli to learn about the organic farming methods used to harvest special bio wines. Georgia also has a unique wine-making process that involves storing pressed grape juice underground in large qvevris pots (egg-shaped clay caskets) while it ferments. The story goes that 8,000 years ago some lucky soul poured grape juice in an earthenware jar and buried it in a pit which resulted in Georgia’s first glass of red.

 

A Taste of Georgia

Unearth a treasure trove of Georgia's cultural highlights and fascinating history, accompanied by unexpected culinary delights. Wander cosmopolitan Tbilisi's cobbled streets and boulevards, stopping to feast on cheese-laden Khachapuri. After sampling Qvevri-made wines in the Kakheti Valley, head into the Caucasus Mountains to explore Gergeti's iconic Holy Trinity Church.
View Georgia food trip

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