- Wine – first and the most characteristic produce of Georgia. Georgia declares itself as an origin of wine 7000 years ago. They developed a special production method using clay jars called kvevri. It’s even added to UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Almost all teritories of Georgia are wine producers. Starting of course from Kaheti (leading in terms of volume) in the east where harvest starts in the first half of September until the republic of Abkhazia in the west where the pick up can be even at the end of November. Georgians developed around 400 different types of grape varieties that are grown exclusively there. Another thing are wine types which usually contain a mix of different grape types. The flagship type of Georgian wine is Saperavi, an obligatory position in the offer of each respectable georgian winery. Other popular varieties are Kindzmarauli and Pirosmani. More about wine – here.
- Cha-cha – another product of grapes. This time using leftovers from vine production. This is a type of moonshine with 45-60% of alcohol. It’s produced at homes – it is completely legal traditional product. Strong as hell, often served in bars like tequila, with lemon. Of course it is also produced by professionals and sold in stylish bottles. And it tastes more or less like that:
- Borjomi – mineral water, naturaly carbonated, cures stomach problems, diabetes and other diseases. Rich in minerals has a specific taste and smell, possible to drink only when cooled. It’s dad’s favourite, while mom just cannot look at it. The city of Borjomi where the water originates is a spa resort, worth visiting and driking some water straight from the spring. The water used to be drawn straight from the river from a makeshift metal cage. Today the center of the town is modernised and is more visitors-friendly.
- Fresh fruits – warm climate of Georgia lets grow many kinds of fruits and vegetables. The most common is of course grape. Red and white, all very very sweet and delicious. Besides wine and fruits themselves Georgians have some other idea for of grapes.
At first sight it looks like sausage but in fact it’s nuts on a string dipped in the mix of grape and flour. Delicious! Apart from grapes Georgia abounds in other fruits. Depending on the region there are apricots, bananas, pomegranates, figs, watermelons, kiwi fruits, almonds, walnuts. All fresh, sweet and tasty. Ola liked them a lot, especialy apples and oranges. Just to play right now, she will try them next time.
- Bread – Caucasian bread is different than the one we know in Europe. First of all it has another shape – it’s flat and eye-shaped. It’s not used for making sandwiches or to be cut but rather to be torn. And tastes more like a roll.
There are some sweet variations of this bread – with rasins and cinamone. They are especialy popular by the road Senaki-Tbilisi in the mountains, before Khashuri. There is a lot of booths selling warm bread just afer the period of handicraft and motor oil zone. Just have to stop there and give it a try.
- Khachapuri – a type of pie or bread, filled with cheese, sometimes with added potatos or eggs. Don’t be surprised when ordering khachapuri in different places you will get a different meal each time. Pay attention to what kind of khachapuri is there on the menu. Our favourite is adjarian one – with cheese and egg with butter on the top, all shaped as a boat or an eye.
Other kinds are also named from the region of their origin: Mingrelian, Imeretian, – round and flat, the most popular type, Ossetian, Svanuri, Rachuli, Phenovani, Abkhazian (multilayer). This is one of our fist choice dishes as it looks unusually, tastes great and it’s alway safe because in any variation it contains meat.
I think it was Ola’s first bread she ever tried – a dough from khachapuri. She seemed to like it.
And it was the time when she started being interested in what’s on the table. In Georgia you can always count on help when you are with a baby. „You eat, I will take care of the baby” we hear the waitress reaching for our girl. Never in our lives we have eaten faster.
- Salad – very well accopmanies khachapuri. Basic Georgian salad is simple and if made of fresh produce, of amazing taste. The recipe is simple: fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and onions, seasoned with fresh parsley. Of course many variations have developed, starting from garnishing with purple basil, adding green pepers, to the types with cheese or with walnuts (sauce of walnuts, ground coriander, garlic and vinegar) but the basic version is our favourite.
Meat-eaters will probaby by delighted with Georgian shashlik. Usually made of pork or chicken. Barbecue is highly prcaticed method of meet preparation especialy for some holidays or other family feasts. We cannot say anything more cause we don’t eat meat but our friends are huge shashlik fans. It’s probably the last time when you read here something abut meat but since our friends found it to be that excelent we decided to mention it.