Introduction

Georgian cuisine is arguably one of the best experiences in Georgia, with extremely diverse dishes using a wide variety of herbs, spices, and techniques to make distinctive and flavorful dishes that will surely leave a lasting impression.

 

Breads

Georgia’s most famous dish is called ხაჭაპური khachapuri, which comes from the words ხაჭო khacho “curd” and  პური puri “bread.” Khachapuri is a stuffed cheese bread that comes in numerous regional variations. The cheese used is either იმერული Imeruli, which is cheese that comes from Imereti, or სულგუნი sulguni. Both cheeses are a type of aged curd goat cheese with a taste similar that of mozzarella. The breads used and the style in which the bread is folded is generally region-specific.

Acharuli khachapuri

აჭარული ხაჭაპური Acharuli Khachapuri

Acharuli khachapuri is the most well-known and advertised regional variant of khachapuri. This variant of khachapuri comes from Adjara. The bread is formed into a gondola shape, and the cheese is placed in the middle. After the cheese bread comes out of the oven, a raw egg and pad of butter are placed on top. Generally, the molten cheese, egg, and butter are mixed together before enjoying!

იმერული ხაჭაპური Imeruli Khachapuri

Imeruli khachapuri comes from Imereti and is the second most well-known variant of khachapuri. In this variant, the dough is similar to a thinner version of pita bread. The cheese is placed in the middle with the bread folded over it and rolled out, so the cheese is fully enclosed within the bread. Larger versions are then cut into smaller pieces, while smaller versions are generally served whole.

Imeruli khachapuri
Guruli khachapuri

გურული ხაჭაპური Guruli Khachapuri

Guruli khachapuri comes from Guria. Similar to Imeruli khachapuri, Guruli khachapuri has the cheese fully enclosed within the bread, usually in a crescent shape. This variant is known for having hard-boiled eggs inside, in addition to cheese.

მეგრული ხაჭაპური Megruli Khachapuri

Megruli khachapuri comes from Samegrelo and is essentially a cheese pizza without the tomato sauce. The dough is similar to Imeruli khachapuri, but there is no cheese within the bread.

Megruli khachapuri

რაჭული ხაჭაპური Rachuli Khachapuri

Rachuli khachapuri, also known as ხაჭაპური ლორით khachapuri lorit “khachapuri with ham” comes from Racha. Rachuli khachapuri’s bread is generally flakey, similar to a croissant, is in a square shape with each corner folded to the center, and has large slices of ham in the cheese. Often, Rachuli khachapuri and penovani khachapuri are very similar in appearance.

ფენოვანი ხაჭაპური Penovani Khachapuri

Penovani Khachapuri is not a regional variant. Penovani describes the type of bread used, which is extremely flakey, and this variant of khachapuri is distinctively square-shaped. Often, penovani khachapuri and Rachuli khachapuri are very similar in appearance.

ლობიანი Lobiani

ლობიანი lobiani is a type of stuffed bean bread that comes from the word ლობიო lobio “beans” and -იანი -iani (a suffix that carries the same meaning as adding a -y to a word in English, such a cloud-> cloudy, salt -> salty). Lobiani generally comes in three forms, იმერული ლობიანი Imeruli lobiani, რაჭული ლობიანი/ლობიანი ლორით Rachuli lobaini/lobiani lorit, and ფენოვანი ლობიანი penovani lobiani. Imeruli lobiani corresponds to its khachapuri equivalent, whereas Rachuli lobiani/lobiani lorit and penovani lobiani are not generally square in shape, usually taking the form of a rectangle, and are generally completely enclosed with bread.

ღვეძელი Ghvedzeli

There is one other family of stuffed bread in Georgian cuisine, ღვეძელი ghvedzeli. Ghvedzeli breads are generally translated as “pies.” For example, a კარტოფილის ღვეძელი kartopilis ghvedzeli is a mashed potato (and usually some type of herb/spice) stuffed bread, usually using dough similar to Imeruli khachapuri/lobiani. There are also ghvedzeli variations with different types of meat, and most places have both a fried and non-fried version of their ghvedzeli stuffed breads. Ghvedzeli breads are also generally ovular.

Shoti

შოთი Shoti

შოთი Shoti is a boat-shaped bread that is baked in a kiln. Shoti generally has a slightly salty flavor and is eaten plain, with cheese, or with jam spread over it. Shoti can also come stuffed with cheese (shoti khachapuri) or beans (shoti lobiani).

 

Main Dishes

Georgian dishes are usually fairly heavy since they use hearty herbs and spices in very liberal amounts. The staples of Georgian cuisine are walnuts, peaches, cherries, onions, eggplants, potatoes, tomatoes, tarragon, and most meats. Below is a description of some of Georgia’s most well-known dishes.

ნიგვზიანი ბადრიჯანი Nigvziani badrijani

Georgian fried eggplant rolls stuffed with a walnut paste (similar to hummus). Served cold.

Khinkali

ხინკალი Khinkali

Georgian dumplings, generally stuffed with meat, but sometimes with mashed potatoes and cheese.

მწვადი Mts’vadi

Smokey Georgian kebabs, usually pork unless specified otherwise, that are served with onions.

აჯაფსანდალი Ajapsandali

A savory eggplant based soup with tomatoes, onions, and peppers.

A light and aromatic lemony soup with chicken.

ჩიხირთმა Chikhirtma

ჩახოხბილი Chakhokhbili

A rich and savory chicken stew that combines tomatoes, onions, chili peppers, and other

spices into an explosion of flavors.

საცივი Satsivi

A walnut sauce that is used with meats, not unlike the consistency of curry.

Satsivi
 

Desserts

Churchkhela

ჩურჩხელა Churchkhela

A dessert of nuts (walnuts or hazelnuts) covered in candied wine or honey.

ქადა Kada

A sweet, flaky pastry filled with a sugary-paste filling.

კორჟიკი Korzhiki

These are large, generally hard cookies that have a sweet flavor, similar to a cross between a sugar cookie and sour cream cookie

პეროგი Perogi

A cross between a tart and a pie, with a cake-like base and, generally, apples in it, all topped with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Puntusha

ფუნთუშა Puntusha

A sweet, fluffy, dessert roll covered in a thick layer of crunchy, flavorful sugar.

Visiting Georgia

We are here to help you learn about the beautiful country of Georgia and what to do once you are here! Learn more and contact us here.

 

Unless otherwise noted below the photograph, all photographs have been taken by us. Any graphics were created by us or have been significantly altered from their original form. 

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