Georgian cuisine (Georgian: ქართული სამზარეულო, romanized:kartuli samzareulo) is a traditional cuisine of Georgia. Georgian cuisine has similarities with Caucasus cuisine. Every region of Georgia has its own distinct style of food preparation. Eating and drinking are important parts of Georgian culture.
Georgia was one of the countries on the Silk Road, which resulted in travelers influencing Georgian cuisine. The Georgian love of family and friends is one of the reasons why the supra (tablecloth) is so important in Georgia. Supra is offered spontaneously to relatives, friends or guests. Every supra has its tamada (toastmaster), who gives the toast and entertains the guests.
The most popular dishes from Abkhazia are Abysta (Абыста - porridge made of corn, similar to the Mingrelian Ghomi), Apyrpylchapa (Апырпылчапа - pepper skin stuffed with walnut sauce), Achma (Ачма - a variation of Khachapuri), Aritsvmgeli (Арицвмгели - corn bread with walnut), Achash (Ачаш - Abkhaz chudu, with cheese), Achapa (Ачапа - kidney beans with walnut) and Akutaghchapa (Акутагьчапа - hard boiled eggs filled with walnuts, similar to deviled eggs).
The most popular dessert is Akuarkuar, a cookie with honey.
Ajika is a hot, spicy, but subtly flavored dip, often used to flavor food.
Adjarian cuisine is considered a very diversified cuisine, which has been influenced by its geography (seaside, mountainous part) and by its history.
In the mountainous Adjara, the main products are dairy products and the dishes are more fat and heavy and on the other side, in the seaside of the region, dishes are mostly spiced, and use many fresh herbs.
The most popular dishes in Adjara are Adjaruli Khachapuri (აჭარული ხაჭაპური), Borano (ბორანო - chopped cheese fried in ghee), Chirbuli (ჩირბული - omelette with walnuts and tomato), Malakhto (მალახტო - mashed kidney beans with walnuts and crude grape juice), Iakhni (იახნი - stew similar to Kharcho, traditionally made in and around Kobuleti) Khavitsi (ხავიწი - porridge of corn with ghee), Sinori (სინორი - made of Nadughi and unleavened dough), Pakhlava (პახლავა - a version of the Turkish Baklava) and Shaqarlama (შაქარლამა - a biscuit).
The cuisine of Guria is based mostly on poultry (especially chicken meat), corn-bread (Mchadi) and on walnuts, like the cuisine of Imereti.
The most popular dishes from Guria are Satsivi (საცივი - meat, mostly of chicken/turkey in walnut sauce called bazhe), Mchadi (მჭადი - Cornbread), Kupati (კუპატი - sausage made from pork meat), Badrijani Nigvzit (ბადრიჯანი ნიგვზით - fried eggplant with walnut sauce), Gurian Khachapuri (გურული ხაჭაპური - crescent shaped kind of khachapuri filled with cheese and hard boiled egg which is usually eaten on Christmas Day), Brinjula (ბრინჯულა - a sort of cheese omelette "with a dough base" similar to khachapuri) Pkhali (ფხალი) and Kuchmachi (კუჭმაჭი - chicken livers with walnut sauce and pomegranate).
The cuisine of Imereti shares many affinities with the neighbouring region of Guria and is known for its plentiful use of walnuts.
The most famous Imeretian dishes include Imeruli Khachapuri (იმერული ხაჭაპური - the most common version of the Georgian cheese bread), Mchadi (მჭადი - Cornbread), Pkhali (ფხალი), Kuchmachi (კუჭმაჭი - chicken livers with walnut sauce and pomegranate), Soko (სოკო - fried mushrooms), Lobio (ლობიო - mashed red beans with spices), Badrijani Nigvzit (ბადრიჯანი ნიგვზით - fried eggplant with walnut sauce), Chakhokhbili (ჩახოხბილი - tomato-based soup with poultry meat), Mtsnili (მწნილი - pickled vegetables such as cucumbers, cabbage, beets, and jonjoli), Ekala (ეკალა - pkhali made from smilax)Kupati (კუპატი - sausage made of pork), Satsivi (საცივი - meat, mostly of chicken/turkey in walnut sauce called bazhe), and Tsitsila Isrim-Maqvalshi (წიწილა ისრიმ-მაყვალში - roasted chick in a blackberry and grape based sauce)
Kakhetian cuisine is considered to be a more meat-based cuisine and the region itself is called the "Region of Wine".[by whom?] It is also known as the birth-place of one type of Georgian bread, Tonis Puri.
Notable dishes from Kakheti include Mtsvadi (მწვადი - meat cooked on fire), Chakapuli (ჩაქაფული - soup made of fresh herbs such as tarragon and meat of sheep or lamb), Khinkali (ხინკალი - dumplings filled with meat and seasoned with herbs), Khashlama (ხაშლამა - boiled meat of beef or lamb), Khashi (ხაში - boiled meat, often eaten after Supra), Chanakhi (ჩანახი - soup made of lamb and tomatoes), Chikhirtma (ჩიხირთმა - soup made of chicken meat), and Ajapsandali (აჯაფსანდალი - kind of ragout made of eggplants, potatoes and tomatoes).
In Kakheti, they make famous desserts such as Churchkhela (ჩურჩხელა - Candy made of grape juice and walnuts), and Pelamushi (ფელამუში - Dessert made of grape juice).
Kakheti is also well known for its wines, such as Alazani, Akhasheni, Saperavi, and Kindzmarauli.
Kartli is known as a very rich region in terms of fruits (especially apples, apricots, figs, and peaches) and vegetables (especially cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions).
Kartlian dishes include Puris Kharcho (პურის ხარჩო - a kind of soup made of bread), Shechamandi (შეჭამანდი - soup made of dogwood or docks), Jonjoli (ჯონჯოლი - pickles made of Bladdernuts), Chakhrakina (ჭახრაკინა - a kind of Khachapuri filled with cheese and beetroot leaves), Khabizgina (ხაბიზგინა - OssetianKhachapuri filled with cheese and potatoes), and Chakapuli (ჩაქაფული - soup made of fresh herbs and meat of lamb or beef).
Though most of the historical part of Lazeti is located in Turkey, Lazes in Georgia, especially in Sarpi, still continue to carry their traditional dishes, some of them being :
The regional cuisine of Samegrelo can be considered the most famous in Georgia. It uses many spices and walnuts.
Famous Megrelian dishes include Ghomi (ღომი - porridge made of corn meal), Elarji (ელარჯი - ghomi with Sulguni), Gebzhalia (გებჟალია - rolls of cheese seasoned with mint), Megrelian Khachapuri (მეგრული ხაჭაპური - Khachapuri with cheese added on the top), Kupati (კუპატი - sausage made from pork), Tabaka (ტაბაკა - chicken cooked with Ajika), and Kharcho (ხარჩო - soup with beef).
Sulguni (სულგუნი) is traditionally made in the region.
These cuisines are often considered as one due to their similarities.
Famous dishes include Khinkali (ხინკალი - dumplings filled with meat, potatoes or cottage cheese), Gordila (გორდილა - boiled dough), Qaghi (ყაღი - dried and salted meat), Kaurma (ყაურმა - a kind of soup made from meat), Kotori (კოტორი - Khachapuri filled with cottage cheese), Khachoerbo (ხაჭოერბო - dried cottage cheese in a ball shape) and Khavitsi (ხავიწი - melted cheese)
These regions are also well known for their beer (ლუდი) and alcohol, Zhipitauri (ჟიპიტაური).
The cuisines of Racha and of Lechkhumi share most of their dishes and are often grouped into one cuisine as a consequence.
Notable dishes include Shkmeruli (შქმერული - chicken in a sauce made of cream and garlic), Lori (ლორი - pork bacon), Lobiani (ლობიანი - a kind of Khachapuri filled with kidney beans and lori), Lobio (ლობიო - mashed kidney beans with spices), Rachuli Khachapuri (რაჭული ხაჭაპური - a kind of Khachapuri made into a square form).
The Cuisine of Samtskhe-Javakheti consists of two regional cuisines: Meskhetian and Javakhetian. Due to their similarities, they are often considered one regional cuisine. This cuisine differs significantly from other regional cuisine of Georgia, partly because of its heavy use of goose meat and historical Turkish rule of the region.
Famous dishes from Samtskhe-Javakheti include Batis Shechamandi (ბატის შეჭამანდი - soup made of goose), Meskhuri Khinkali (მესხური ხინკალი - Khinkali filled with goose), Apokhti (აპოხტი - dried meat of lamb, beef, goose and duck), Tatarboragi (თათარბორაგი - boiled dough), and Rdzis Korkoti (რძის კორკოტი - wheat grains boiled in milk).
Snails or Lokokina (ლოკოკინა) are also a very common dish in the region due to the presence of French Catholics in the past.
Samtskhe-Javakheti is also famous for its Chiri (ჩირი - dried fruits), Tklapi (ტყლაპი - fruit roll-up) and Tenili (ტენილი - a preserved, hand-pulled cheese).
Main dishes from Svaneti include Kubdari (კუბდარი - also known as Svan Khachapuri, a kind of Khachapuri filled with seasoned pork), P'etvraal (ფეტვრაალი - Khachapuri filled with cheese and millet), Chvishtari (ჭვიშტარი - Mchadi with Sulguni inside), Lutspeq (ლუცფექ - boiled barley grains seasoned with pepper and garlic), Kharshil (ხარშილ - soup of barley and urtica), Tashmijabi (თაშმიჯაბი - mashed potatoes with Sulguni).
Khachapuri, also spelled as Hachapuri, is a traditional Georgian dish of cheese (fresh or aged, most commonly sulguni), eggs and other ingredients.
There are several distinctive types of khachapuri in Georgian food from different regions of Georgia:
Achma (აჩმა), from Abkhazia, which has multiple layers and looks more like a sauceless lasagna.
Adjarian (Adjaruli / (აჭარული) Khachapuri, in which the dough is formed into an open boat shape and the hot pie is topped with a raw egg and a pat of butter before serving.
Chakhrakina (ჭახრაკინა) is a variation of Khachapuri made in Kartli and in Racha. It is filled with cheese and beets leaves.
Kotori (კოტორი) is a Khachapuri made in Tusheti. The dough should be as thin as possible; and the filling consists of Kalti (კალტი - a sort of cottage cheese made in the region) and erbo.
Gurian (Guruli / (გურული) Khachapuri has boiled eggs inside the dough and looks like a calzone. Arguably, it is not a type of khachapuri. Gurians make them for Christmas and call them simply 'Christmas pie'. In the rest of Georgia, it is called 'Gurian pie'.
Imeretian (Imeruli / (იმერული) Khachapuri, which is circular and probably the most common type.
Lemzira (ლემზირა) is a Svanetian ritual cheese bread mostly made in a round or triangular shape.
Mingrelian Khachapuri also called "Megruli" (მეგრული), similar to Imeretian but with more cheese added on top.
Meskhuri Khachapuri (მესხური) is a Khachapuri made of puff pastry dough and cheese. Lard is added in the dough and filling which give it a distinct taste from the more widespread Penovani Khachapuri. it is made in Meskheti.
Ossetian Khachapuri also called "Osuri" (ოსური) or by its original name "Khabizgina" (ხაბიზგინა) is a version of Khachapuri which has potato, as well as cheese in its filling.
Petvraali (ფეტვრაალი) is a sort of Khachapuri filled with cheese and millet, made in Svaneti.
Penovani Khachapuri (ფენოვანი) is made with puff pastry dough, resulting in a flaky variety of the pie. It is often sold as street food in local bakeries.
Pkhlovana or Mkhlovana (მხლოვანა / ფხლოვანა) is a Khachapuri made in the mountainous areas of Georgia, especially Khevi. It is similar to Chakhrakina but spinach is also added in the filling.
Rachuli Khachapuri also called “Bachuli” (რაჭული / ბაჭული) is a version of Khachapuri made in Racha. It is filled with cheese and is of rectangular shape and puff pastry dough is used.
Adjaruli Chechili (აჭარული ჩეჩილი): Cheese made in Adjara from cow milk, which is shaped into ropes.
Chogi (ჩოგი): Cheese made from sheep milk in Tusheti.
Chkinti' (ჭყინტი): Salty and juicy cheese made originally in Imereti.
Dambalkhacho (დამბალხაჭო): Moldy cheese made in Pshavi and Mtiuleti. It is considered one of the most ancient and expensive cheeses.
Dampali Kveli (დამპალი ყველი): Rare cheese with a butter filling inside.
Kartuli (ქართული): Cheese made from a mixture of around 50% cow milk and a mixture of sheep, goat or buffalo milk.
Guda (გუდა): Cheese made from sheep milk in Tusheti. Its preparation lasts 20 days.
Imeruli (იმერული): Cheese made in the region of Imereti from cow milk.
Kalti (კალტი): Cheese made in mountainous regions of Georgia. It is often considered a shepherds' cheese because of its nutritional values.
Chakapuli (ჩაქაფული): Stew made of lamb or beef (or veal), tarragon and cherry plums in Eastern Georgia (Kakheti and Kartli).
Chakhokhbili (ჩახოხბილი): Soup made of tomatoes and poultry meat (mostly chicken or turkey) which originated in Western Georgia.
Chikhirtma (ჩიხირთმა): Soup made of turkey or chicken meat and eggs which is traditionally made in Kakheti.
Kharcho (ხარჩო): Soup made of beef, rice, cherry plums and walnuts from Mingrelia.
Kharshil (ხარშილ): Soup made of spinach in Svaneti.
Khashi (ხაში): Boiled cow or sheep parts in their juice. Mostly made in the Eastern regions, especially Kakheti.
Lobio (ლობიო): Stew made mostly from kidney beans. Popular in Western Georgia.
Matsvnis Supi (მაწვნის სუპი): Soup made mainly of Matsoni.
Puris Kharcho (პურის ხარჩო): Soup made of bread. It originated in Kartli.
Shechamandi (შეჭამანდი): Different sorts of soup made by a principle ingredients, mostly made in Kartli. These soups can be made of spinach, malva, garlic, dogwood, grains, sorrel, pink peavine and other ingredients.
Lobio Nigvzit (ლობიო ნიგვზით): Kidney beans with walnuts.
Pkhali (ფხალი): Minced vegetables with pomegranates.
Qnashi (ქნაში): Boiled minced pumpkin seeds which is later spiced and given a circle shape.
Shechamandi (შეჭამანდი): Different sorts of soup made by a principle ingredient, mostly made in Kartli. These soups can be made of spinach, malva, garlic, dogwood, grains, sorrel, pink peavine, and others.
Georgia is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. The fertile valleys and protective slopes of the Transcaucasia were home to grapevine cultivation and neolithic wine production (Georgian: ღვინო, ɣvino) for at least 8000 years. Due to the many millennia of wine in Georgian history and its prominent economic role, the traditions of wine are considered entwined with and inseparable from the national identity.
Alcoholic drinks from Georgia include chacha and wine (especially Georgian wine). Some of the most well-known Georgian wines include Pirosmani, Alazani, Akhasheni, Saperavi, and Kindzmarauli. Wine culture in Georgia dates back thousands of years, and many Georgian wines are made from traditional Georgian grape varieties that are little known in the West, such as Saperavi and Rkatsiteli. Georgian wine is well known throughout Eastern Europe, and is a significant national export, with exports of over 10 million bottles of wine per year. Georgia is also home to many beer brands, including Natakhtari, Kazbegi, Argo, Kasri, and Karva.