Travel Plates – Georgia

Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head?”
Remember these lines by Anthony Bourdain?..The concept of Culinary Travels is one of the fastest growing travel trends of recent times. Whether watching Anthony Bourdain exploring exotic locales, an alluring photo layout of delectables in a magazine or food porn posted online by friends, today’s travelers are inundated with images of food and drink, from the everyday to the sublime.
The appeal is universal—and travelers are enjoying every bit of the dopamine rush.
In our recent trip to Georgia, we were blown away by the diversity and depth of their local cuisine. From street food to comfort food and ofcourse plenty of locally brewed Wine and ChaCha, the aftertaste is sure to last a while.
What is special about Georgian cuisine?Situated at the crossroads of East and West, Georgia has fallen within the orbit of many cultural influences and empires.
Influenced by the Mediterranean, Arab and Mongol flavours, Persian and Ottoman kitchens to links stretching as far as Northern India, today’s Georgian cuisine is a rich interplay between Mediterranean and Middle Eastern tastes
Here are the top authentic food that defines the beautiful Eurasian province of Georgia
1)KhachapuriNo Georgian feast in ever complete without Khachapuri. According to many, it is the Georgian classic, cheese bread par excellence. It’s form, as well as texture vary from region to region: it can take a thin or thick crust, it can contain single or many layers, Khachapuri can assume round, triangle or rectangle form of all sizes and even come boat-shaped with an egg in the middle, as is the case of Khachapuri from Adjara – Georgia’s coastal region on the Black Sea.2) Khinkali – Georgian Beef and Pork Soup Dumplings
They are similar to Chinese Soup Dumpling, but are much larger than their bite-sized cousins. Typical varieties have stuffing made from cheese,mushrooms, lamb or potato, but the most common is a meaty stuffing made with pork and beef.
Once fully cooked, the meaty stuffing releases a rich broth into the center of the dumpling.
The ingenious inventors of this dumpling use an accordion-like fold to close it, resulting in a small handle at the top
The owner of a Khinkali house we were eating in insisted in on enjoying these hearty bags of goodness sans cutlery as only then you can get the real feel of it.3)Soko Keczemushrooms in a clay pot.” the mushrooms are also topped with melted Georgian cheese. This cheese, combined with the liquid from the mushrooms that pools at the bottom of the pot during cooking makes for a delicious, mélange of flavors.4)Shkmerulia chicken dish from the village of Shkmeri, Racha region of Georgia. Fried chicken in creamy garlic sauce becomes even more delicious if cooked in a clay pan “Ketsi”. 5) ChaqapuliChakapuli is a traditional Georgian dish made with lamb and white wine. Often it is served during the feast of Orthodox Easter. This is a dish from Eastern Georgia, Kakheti region and is frequently called a seasonal, spring stew with the main ingredient of tarragon to make Chakapuli spicier. One can also make this dish with beef or chicken meat.
A signature ingredient is the Tkemali sauce. (an universal condiment made with wild plums and aromatic herbs)6)”Badridzhani nigvsit”
which means Eggplants and Walnuts.
This classic recipe is found throughout Georgia as part of the vegetable starters for a supra, but they’re great with drinks before dinner too. Small eggplants are sliced lengthwise, salted, rinsed, and lightly fried, before being spread with garlicy walnut paste and rolled up. 7)ChaChaAnd ofcourse there is ChaCha, the famed Georgian pomace brandy.Here are a few reasons to eat local while travellingA) Local Food is Part of the CultureFood is perhaps the most accessible and delectable gateway to the culture and essence of a place or group of people. A meal shared with a local will tell us stories and anecdotes that internet still have no access to.B) Local Food Supports the CommunityOpting to drink coffee in a local café, snack on street food or have lunch in a local eatery is a simple way to be a socially responsible tourist. Eating in local places supports local businesses and the local economy, and it also builds connections between the local people and travellersC) Local Food is Better for the EnvironmentFlying food across the world means a bigger carbon footprint.Locally grown food doesn’t have half as far to travel.The 4 step approach to experience local food and culture1) Read books, journals and research online to learn about the traditional food of the country.
2) Book a stay or a meal with a B and B so that we can co cook or enjoy a meal together
3) Visit local food stores to see the local produce and regional specialties.
4) Finally eat out in all the popular local cafes and eateries – preferably covering breakfast, big meals, snacks and beverages.I hope our travel & foodie buddies are going to get a heads up about Georgian food from this post. Also eating local can be the easiest and simplest way to start responsible tourism.To more travel platesDevlina

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