Italian spaghetti recipes and flaky French croissants flood Instagram feeds and hook foodies everywhere. But there’s a new cuisine flocking new fans: known for its hearty dishes, tastebud-stirring spices and lavish feasts where guests are treated as ‘gifts from God’. It’s about time you met Georgian food.
The joys of Georgian food
Found at the convergence of Asia, the Middle East and Europe (on the ancient Silk Road trade route), Georgia’s exposure to different culinary traditions over time has helped it mould a fascinating culinary culture of its own. Warm hand-made breads, addictive cheeses, flavoursome meats and Georgian regulars like tarragon, walnuts and agika (spicy paste) dominate a delicious menu.
Here are some dishes that will tingle your tastebuds for days. (And remember you can try them on Trafalgar’s Georgia tour).
6 gorgeous Georgian dishes to eat in your lifetime
Whisper it softly: but Georgian food has cause to call itself the world’s ultimate comfort food.
Beloved by locals, khachapuri is cheesy bread. But not like you’ve had it before. A dedicant crispy crust contrasts with a soft, heart-warming centre that makes you roll your eyes back in ecstasy upon trying. Now let’s talk variations: You must try the classic imeretian khachapuri (yeast-infused pastry with and salted Imeretian cow’s milk cheese).
As well as the the boat-shaped Adjarian khachapuri (pictured above) – a favourite of the indigenous Laz people who used to roam the Black Sea. We recommend tearing off your crust to soak in the warm egg, bubbling cheese and butter below. What did we say about comfort food?
Introducing khinkali: Georgia’s brothy meat-filled dumplings. These are a big favourite at supras (Georgian feasts) that often extend into the night as you reach shemomedjama – the feeling of eating long past the point of fullness.
Pure happiness hits as you bite into this steamed treat. To live like a local, you must suck out the juicy broth and then gobble away until you immediately reach for another. This iconic Georgian food simply cannot be ignored.
GET INSPIRED BY: Georgia tour (Book your spot for Spring 2023)
Another adored Georgian food, it’s time you heard about badrijana nigvzit. These fried eggplant slices are rolled and filled with walnut paste; and are equally scrumptious as an appetiser or main meal. Feel local life wrap itself around you as you tuck into to these treats and feel the coriander, cumin, turmeric and wonderous walnut flavour dance on your tongue.
GET INSPIRED BY: Food tours with Trafalgar
Nothing nourishes you more after a day in Georgia’s great outdoors than kharcho. This sweet-smelling soup boasts chunks of beef, cherry plum puree, walnuts and the iconic Georgian spice khmeli-suneli: made from bay leaves, fenugreek seeds, mint, coriander, parsley and dill. Yes: you guessed right – it is essential to grab a large spoon and lap up this comforting Georgian food staple.
Picture this. You return from hiking Georgia’s Caucasus mountains or swimming in the Black Sea and crave some candy. Enter… churchkhela sweets. These colourful candlestick-looking sweets are made by weaving walnuts along a string and dipping this into grape juice, flour and sugar – then left to dry for 5 days to create the ultimate crunchy treat. Occasionally: hazelnuts, almonds and/or dried peaches, plums and raisins are also used. So pick out your favourite and enjoy!
Balls of vegetables might not be the first thing that you instinctively order from a menu. But pkhali is just what your heart and soul needs. Vegetables such as beetroot, spinach, cabbage, beans, eggplant, butternut squash or carrots are cooked and rolled into balls, and then sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. Ranging in beautiful colours (depending on vegetable), they are a Georgian food favourite at supra feasts.
What Georgian food can I experience with Trafalgar?
The simple answer: as much as you wish. Georgian hospitality adores guests and you can expect your empty plate to be immediately refilled with more hearty food. So bring your appetite.
Trafalgar’s Georgia and Armenia Uncovered tour takes you under the skin and into the heart of Georgian food culture. You will meet a local family in Garni who teach you how to make lavash (crispy bread), paired with cheese and greens. Taste world-class wine in local cellars. And witness a masterclass in Georgian bread baking and churchkhela sweet making.
Time for your Georgian adventure? Let us know your favourite foods in the comments in the comments below.