You may try delicious Georgian food and different Georgian drinks from lemonade to chacha in various cafes and restaurants. However, one of the best ways to experience and understand Georgian traditions of eating, drinking and enjoying life is Supra, the Georgian table. It shouldn’t always have a festive reason: every day can be festive in Georgia. Gathering with friends and family is very important here. If the guests are attending supra, it is even merrier.
So if you are invited, don’t be shy: try all the dishes (it’s a big pleasure for the hosts if their guests are full and happy), join the toast-master, take wine with the others and say some warm words too. The order of toasts is not always the same: it varies from region to region, but generally the first glass should be drained for God and peace, because both play very important role for every Georgian. If you learn the phrase “Gmerts dideba chven mshvidoba” (“May the God’s greatness bring you peace”), it would be really appreciated.
In Georgia, the food is quite appropriately an expression of the culture. Warm, gooey comfort food like khachapuri (cheese-stuffed bread) finds balance with matsoni (sour yogurt). Herbs like tarragon, flat parsley, dill and coriander combine with walnuts and garlic for rich fillings and sauces.
Puri (Tonis Puri)
The Georgian bread staple. Baked in a ceramic circular hearth oven with the dough stuck to the side (like Indian naan), puri comes out moist and sourdoughy, perfectly tainted with black bits from the oven. Its edges are browned and taste faintly of matzo.
Roasted eggplant strips, served flat and topped with walnut paste. Sweet and savory.
A paste made from spinach, walnuts, and garlic. Excellent with tonis puri or khachapuri.
The national cheese. A salted water-soaked cheese with a stringy shell and moist middle. Eat by itself or with a round of tonis puri bread and a plateful of herbs and tomatoes.
A rather sour yogurt that usually shows up topless (well, without a lid) at the table. Trial and error usually works to suit your taste – with warm meat, vegetables, khachapuri, or blend with fresh honey or fruit. After matsoni straight from the farm, store-bought yogurt will never taste the same. Made from boiled fresh milk and a bacterial starter, matsoni is certain to have medicinal qualities.
A cross between bean soup and refried beans. Its consistency and taste varies widely, bears a resemblance to Mexican bean dishes and is almost always satisfying. Eat with mchadi (Georgian corn bread) for full effect.
Grilled minced meat sprinkled with sumac and onion slices, wrapped in a thin lavash-like bread.
Georgian corn bread so dense you’d think it was a paperweight. Eaten with lobio.
Taken in small doses alongside cheese, khachapuri, or meat, this sour plum sauce is a cleanser.
Khachapuri-like bread stuffed with bean paste. Just slightly healthier than the original cheese khachapuri.
Visit Georgia to try all this food and so much more!