Thousand years of development and nurture brought to us delicious and wonderful – Georgian cuisine. Our dishes represent a crucial part of our culture. It tastes like nothing else in the world. This distinct and flavorful taste is created by our Georgian spices, sauces that will intrigue your taste buds, well-developed cheese cultures, the culture of bread-making, and 8000-year-old wine preservation and nurture tradition. While enjoying the breathtaking views of this heavenly country, it will fill you with food so delicious that it’ll make your soul happy. Every part of Georgia will offer something different. Let’s dive into this paradise of flavors.
Kakheti is undeniably the Bread & Wine Capital of Georgia. It’s impossible to miss all the wine fields while traveling here. The most permanent appetizer on any Georgian table – the Shoti bread originated from here. Main course dishes include “Mtsvadi”- various types of meat on metal or wooden sticks, made on a variation of campfire and is the favorite food for hikers and campers! “Chakapuli” – one of the most respected Georgian dishes, it’s considered as a dish that put Georgia on a culinary map. Lamb meat with white wine and cherry plum sauce – “tkhemali” all the flavors open up with tarragon leaves, mixed fresh herbs, and garlic. Honorable mention is “Chikhirtma” – creamy chicken soup with a pleasant blend of broth, vinegar, eggs, spices, and herbs.
The traditional Georgian sweets also come from this wonderland. The most popular are: “Churchkhela” – often called the Georgian version of sneakers bar and “Felamushi” sweat treat made of grape juice. Kakheti will surely amaze you with rich and inviting cuisine!
First things first, Kartli is a center of Georgia. Most famous for its traditional soups – “Shechamandi” and the most famous “Kharcho” – soup with rice, beef, Georgian herbs, and spices that give it a truly special taste. Kartli has its variations of famous khachapuri: “Chakhrakina” – with cheese and beetroot leaves and “Khabizgina” – stuffed with cheese and potatoes.
Mtianeti, Khevi, Khevsureti, Pshavi, and Tusheti
Breathtaking with its views and atmosphere, we should be thankful to this mountainous, lush paradise for giving us the personal favorite dish of most Georgians (myself included) – “Khinkali”. Appetizing and wonderful “kaurma”. Special thin khachapuri with cottage cheese – “Kotori”. Glorious and unforgettable melted cheese – “Khavitsi”. The only right way to enjoy all this magnificence is by grabbing a mug of beer or a glass of local vodka – “Zhipitauri” and embracing the beautiful view of huge mountains and icy peaks.
Imereti and Guria
Imereti and its neighboring Guria are the heart of Georgia. They hold massive cultural and historical significance and their culinary traditions reflect that. Their cuisine is hugely influenced by each other so I’m going to mention them together in this paragraph. Imeretian Khachapuri is in the top three most favorite khachapuris of Georgians. Different and intriguing “Kuchmachi” – chicken liver/heart in walnut sauce and pomegranate. Imeretians and Gurians love using walnuts in their dishes! Amazing Eggplants with Walnuts and unreal tasty “Satsivi” – Chicken in Walnut Sauce is a dish that you simply have to try!
Megrelians are extremely proud of their cuisine and will tell you without hesitation, that their dishes are the best! Well, you can’t blame them. Megrelians have one of the best cheese cultures all around the world! Cheese – “Sulguni” is so tasty and Megrelians love putting it in their dishes. The main ones are “Ghomi”, “Elarji” and “Gebzhalia” – you have to give them a try while passing through this magnificent region. It’s impossible not to mention the Megrelian Khachapuri, which of course is also stuffed with Sulguni cheese inside and on top. In Samegrelo, they love meat, especially chicken. Don’t forget to try “Chicken Tabaka” a whole chicken cooked with special Ajika sauce and sometimes pomegranate. Grab some Ajika for you separately, because this magical ingredient, if used right, will turn any red meat product into an absolute masterpiece!
This beautiful tourist paradise has a lot to offer! One of my personal favorites and the glory of Georgia originated from here – “Adjarian Khachapuri”. Shaped like a boat with cheese and butter melting in the hot cheese, this dish is amazing! Give a try to “Borano” – Cheese fried on a pan filled with gee. Start your day off like a native Adjarian with “Chirbuli” – Omelette with tomatoes and walnuts. Adjara also has the most diverse assortment of desserts! Taste Traditional “Sinori” – a mix of Georgian nadughi and dough. This dish can be made in so many variations that you can make anything starting from desert to the main dish! Try true Georgian biscuit – “Shaqarlama” and the natives’ favorite “Pakhlava” – heavily inspired by Turkish Baklava. Taste this and so much more in this sub-tropical Gem of Georgia!
Svaneti is culturally the most distinct part of Georgia and with its culinary gems, it’s a place that you have to experience! Svans were the first to come up with a genius idea regarding national Khachapuri. While everybody is putting different types of cheese and herbs, Svans put meat in their khachapuri! It’s called “Kubdari” and it’s magnificent!
Svans also came up with the idea of putting cheese inside every Western Georgian favorite “Mchadi” bread. The result is appetizing “Chvishtari” – Cornbread with melted cheese inside it. Other than improving the surrounding peoples’ dishes they, of course, came up with their stuff also! “Lutspeq” – as intriguing as its name itself, boiled grains with pepper and garlic seasoning! The soup “Kharshil” – with barley and urtica. Last but not least is “Tashmijabi” – Boiled potatoes filled with Sulguni cheese! Mountains reaching to the sky, interesting and intriguing people, and amazing food! What else you need?
This region is one of the most interesting with its cuisine. For centuries it was heavily influenced by Turkish rule and the diverse nationalities living here. There was a big group of French Catholics who were living in the region and till this day you can see exotic dishes with snails in them. Locals love gooses! You can find goose meat in traditional Meskhian soup – “Goose Shechamandi” and even in local Khinkali! People here also love different types of salted and dried meat of lamb, goose, duck, etc. They also enjoy white grains boiled in milk – “Korkoti”. Samtskhe-Javakheti is a very interesting region with its historic influence, give it a try!