The Georgian people are famous for their boundless hospitality.
One the best ways to experience this is through the country’s delicious cuisine. The food of Georgia is rich with flavour, and the locals are passionate about sharing it with visitors to their country.
The best way to experience Georgian food is at a supra, a traditional Georgian feast with an endless stream of dishes usually held as a celebration of a special occasion. Being invited is an esteemed honour, and an opportunity not to be missed.
But even if you don’t make it to a supra, you’re guaranteed to eat well in Georgia as everywhere you go, from the city to the countryside, the locals will ensure you sample the very best of what their country has to offer.
The one dish you must try in Georgia is the famous khachapuri, the national dish, which is leavened bread shaped in various ways and filled with cheese. This humble delicacy comes in countless versions with ingredients such as potato, herbs, mushrooms, leeks and, in the case of the boat-shaped Adjaruli khachapuri, an egg. If you stay at a local home, you’ll likely be treated to the pleasure of freshly baked khachapuri for your breakfast. Excellent versions can also be found in shops and restaurants throughout the country.
Another stand out dish is khinkali, Georgian dumplings filled with spiced meat and a small amount of flavoursome broth. This dish originated in the mountains in the northeast of the country, but is now widely available and even comes in vegetarian versions filled with cheese or mushrooms. Eat them with your hands (as utensils can pierce the delicate skin) with nothing more than a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper.
Georgian cuisine offers a wide range of unusual and tasty vegetarian dishes including Badrijani nigvzit, roasted eggplant slices topped with walnut paste, the rich and hearty bean soup known as lobio, the roasted vegetable stew ajapsandali. But it’s in the meat department that the food of Georgia truly excels.
A Georgian feast would be incomplete without mtsvadi, which are skewers of juicy chunks of salted pork. Another popular dish is pkhali, made of chopped and minced vegetables, and chicken lovers can’t get enough of satsivi, which is smothered in pureed walnuts.
Wine is also an important part of any meal in Georgia, and the country has a vibrant winemaking tradition that goes back thousands of years, making it one of the oldest in the world. The most prominent wine region is Kakheti, which produces wine that is exported around the world, but other areas include Kartli, Imereti and Adjara.
Wine-making is a key part of Georgian culture, and many families in rural areas produce their own wine using age-old methods. In 2013, the traditional method of making wine using kvevri clay jars was added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List, giving it the international recognition it deserves.
The Georgian people are passionate about food and wine, and embrace every opportunity to share their cuisine with visitors, making Georgia a prime destination for a foodie adventure.
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