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“There is no love sincerer than the love of food”

Said George Bernard Shaw, and let us also add that there’s arguably no better way to explore a culture than to eat voraciously while traveling.

By a region’s literature and architecture you understand its history; by its art and music you understand its self-image. It is by its food, though, that you understand its true, unchanging character. The most communal of the arts, gastronomy is both visual and physical, scholarly and emotional.

The Georgian cuisine is unique to the country, but also carries some influences from other European and nearby Middle Eastern culinary traditions. Each historical province of Georgia has its own distinct culinary tradition, with variations such as Megrelian, Kakhetian, and Imeretian cuisines. Heavy on meat dishes, the Georgian cuisine also offers a variety of vegetarian dishes.

Georgian cuisine is the result of the rich interplay of culinary ideas carried along the trade routes by merchants and travelers alike.

The greatest culinary divide is between the western and eastern region. In the west, there is a greater emphasis on vegetarian food, predominantly prepared with walnuts. Herbs and spices, especially tarragon, basil, coriander, feuille Grec, and pepper make western Georgian food hot and spicy.

Cheese usually is made from cow's milk and is eaten with either corn bread or a corn and flour porridge. Khachapuri,a kind of cheese pizza, is common.

In the eastern area, the food is heavier, with more of an accent on mutton and pork. Wheat bread is preferred to corn, and sheep's cheese from Tusheti is popular. Among people in the mountains, the most popular food is khinkali, a cooked meat dumpling that usually is accompanied by beer. The most popular vegetables are tomatoes, potatoes, radishes, pumpkins, eggplant, beans, cucumbers, and cabbage. The most popular sauce, tkemali, is made of wild plums; other sauces are based on walnuts with spices, or pomegranate juice. Wine is drunk everywhere, and stronger alcoholic beverages include chacha (Georgian vodka), which is made of grapes and sometimes other fruit. Fish, especially trout, is eaten universally. A wide variety of locally grown fruit is supplemented by wild and cultured berries, watermelons and other melons. Dried fruit and nuts covered with a mixture of grape juice and wheat or corn flour are eaten in the winter. Jams are prepared from fruit, unripe walnuts, watermelon, eggplant, and green tomatoes.

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 - when a huge assortment of dishes are prepared, always accompanied by large amounts of wine, and that can last for hours. In a Georgian feast, the role of the tamada (toastmaster) is an important and honoured position.

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.

 

Most popular Georgian dishes are:

Khachapuri – Cheese pie

Khinkali – Meat dumplings

Pkhali – Greens and vegetables mixed with walnuts

Mtsvadi – Pieces of meat grilled on fire (most popular is pork)

Chakapuli – Lamb or veal boiled with loads of herbs and greens

Shkmeruli – Whole chicken boiled with garlic sauce and milk
Bajhe & Satsivi – Chicken or turkey in wallnuts souce

Cheeses – Big assortment of cheeses from cow to sheep
Ghomi and Elargi – Corn porridge  with pieces of melted cheese inside

Mchadi – Corn bread, usually eaten hot with any kind of Georgian cheese

Tkemali – Georgian replacement of ketchup, made of wild plums and spices

Georgian bread “Shoti” - is a type of traditional Georgian bread, made of white flour and shaped like a canoe. Shoti baked in a specific bakery called tone (deep circular clay oven).

Churchkhela – Georgian dessert, often compared to snickers chocolate

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Georgia4You / Best Travel Services and Highlights of Georgia Georgia4You unites all interesting activities to do in Georgia. We offer best and cheapest tours and services to make your Georgian adventure unforgettable! Here you can find most interesting activities such as: Paragliding, Rafting, Trekking and Mountaineering, Skiing, Heliskiing, Bicycle Tours, Horseback Riding, Jeep Tours, Motorbiking and Enduro, Camping, Day Trips and Wine Tours, Short Trips, Pub Crawls and Tbilisi Nightlife Tours, Guiding and Driver, Tour Planning services. We can plan your trip from A to Z before arrival to Georgia, meet you directly at Tbilisi, Kutaisi (Kopitnari) or Batumi airports and take you to the places that are most interesting, exciting and adventurous. Our tours cover all regions, towns and villages of Georgia: Guria, Imereti, Kakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Racha Lechkhumi and Svaneti, Samegrelo, Samtskhe-Javakheti, and Shida Kartli, Tusheti. Tbilisi, Mtskheta, Gori, Batumi, Kutaisi, Borjomi, Likani, Bakuriani, Akhaltsikhe, Zugdidi, Mestia, Mazeri, Adishi, Ushguli, Kazbegi Stepantsminda, Juta, Gudauri, Shatili, Mutso, Ardoti, Roshka, Omalo, Shenako, Diklo, Parsma, Girevi, Dartlo, Telavi, Sighnaghi, Kvareli, Lagodekhi, Sadakhlo. Making sure you will see all main highlights: Vashlovani National Park, Lagodekhi Protected Areas, David Gareja Monastery, Kvareli Lake, Lopota Lake, Gremi, Tsindandali Museum, Alaverdi Monastery, Abano Pass, Atsunta Pass, Datvisjvari Pass, Abudelauri Lakes, Chaukhi Mountains, Zeta Camping, Georgian Military Road, Ananuri Fortress, Jvari (Cross) Pass, Truso Valley, Gergeti Trinity Church (Sameba), Betlemi Hut (Meteostation), Mount Kazbek, Gergeti Glacier, Gveleti Waterfalls, The Dariali Gorge, Jvari Monastery, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Uplistsikhe Cave Town, Joseph Stalin Museum, Ateni Sioni Church, Vardzia Cave Monastery, Rabati Castle in Akhaltsikhe, Goderdzi Pass and Ski Resort, Bakhmaro Resort, Mtirala National Park, Batumi Dolphinarium, Batumi Botanical Garden, Gonio Fortress, Dadiani Palaces Museum, Inguri Dam, Mount Ushba, Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography, Chalaadi Glacier, Hatsvali Ski Resort, Mount Tetnuldi, Lamaria Church, Mount Shkhara, Ubisa Monastery, Bagrati Cathedral, Gelati Monastery, Sataplia Nature Reserve, Okatse Canyon, Gachedili Canyon, Katskhi Pillar, Katskhi Pillar, Nikortsminda Cathedral, Sakinule Cave, Shovi Resort, Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, Tabatskuri Lake.