I felt ever indebted to Georgians the moment I heard that they were the ones who invented wine. But while appreciating their gift in the initial days of my time in Georgia I realized that the Russians had adored, but not really advertised a greater gift of Georgian culture: its cuisine.
Georgia, due to its unique position at the confluence of the east and the west has a thriving food culture evolved over the years through the influences of the rulers and the regions of the land. Blessed with a Mediterranean climate and having gone through invasions of the Mongols, Arabs, Persians apart of influences of neighboring countries like Turkey has helped Georgia create its famed culinary tradition.
Traditional Georgian cheese or Sulguni is slightly sour and salty flavored Georgian cheese. Its pickled cheese and at times it is also deep fried.
Salad, with tomatoes, onions and cucumber, flavored with garlicky, walnut paste, washed down with Natakhtari. Everything tasting unlike anything I had ever had before.
Mchadi – Georgian Corn bread usually eaten with Lobio and slices of aubergine and courgette wrapped over garlicky, walnut paste. Most dishes are accompanied by traditional Georgian bread also called as Puri or Tonis Puri. Puri is usually cooked in an earthen oven ala Tandoori rotis in our country. It is hard, but delicious to eat.
A table full of vegetarian, Georgian cuisine. All the amazing breads,lobio, Mchadi and Sulguni cheese.
Georgian food is extremely refined and unique. Like its alphabet which no one else in the world reads, a language which no one else speaks Georgian cuisine is unique and unlike any other cuisine found in the world. Personally, the most wonderful part of Georgian cuisine was the large number of vegetarian dishes available. A vegetarian foodie might seem like an oxymoron to many but Georgia helped me vindicate the phrase.