Georgian Culinary Guide: A Toast to Tradition

Welcome to your culinary guide to Georgian ( ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ช) food and drinks. Step off the plane in Tbilisi, and you’re no longer a mere traveler; you’re an honored guest in a land where hospitality transcends mere politeness.

Take a look at the symbol of Georgia this powerful metal statue that overlooks the capital city of Tbilisi – Kartlis Georgia (Mother of Georgia). The statue was erected on the top of Sololaki Hill in 1958, the year Tbilisi celebrated its 1500th anniversary. A formidable 23-meter aluminum hostess and symbol holding a chalice in one hand and a sword in another. ‘Are you friend or foe?’ she asks. Weโ€™re coming as friends palettes awaiting eagerly for the Supra to come.

Georgian food & drinks
Mother Georgia

A Journey through the Ages

Here, every meal is a journey through history, every sip of wine a celebration of resilience. Georgia, with its verdant valleys and ancient vineyards, is a place where culinary traditions aren’t just preserved; they’re cherished and shared generously. it is no wonder that this land was so often coveted by invading civilizations Greeks, Mongols, Turks, and Arabs passing along the silk road. While the one that probably sticks out more in our minds and modern history is Russia, Georgiaโ€™s Euro-leaning tendencies while preserving its ancestorial path and language, make it a must-visit country for anyone in love with nature, good food, & wine.

10 must-try Georgian foods and drinks

In this Georgian culinary guide, I share my experiences sampling the unmistakable delights of Georgia.

Khachapuri: A Love Affair with Cheese

Imagine a dish so indulgent that it pulls at the heartstrings of cheese lovers worldwide. Khachapuri is not just a cheese bread; it’s a warm, comforting embrace from Georgia. The Adjaruli versionโ€”a boat-shaped bread filled with a molten lake of cheese, topped with a raw egg and butterโ€”commands you to dive in with both hands and relish the gooey goodness. Youโ€™ll encounter many regional puris (breads), including my favorite Tushetian Kotori all distinct and delicious and worth a try.

georgian food and drink

Khinkali: The Art of the Dumpling

Think of an Asian dumpling on steroids, ready to quench the appetite of hungry consumers. These stuffed dumplings, robust with spiced meat and brimming with broth, demand dexterity and appetite.Pinch the top, take a careful bite, sip the broth, and then devour the rest, leaving behind the pleated dough handleโ€”a trophy of your culinary conquest.

georgian food and drinks

Churchkhela: Georgia’s Snack of Warriors

Walking through a Georgian bazaar, youโ€™ll spot strings of churchkhela hanging like exotic candles. Nicknamed the โ€œsnickersโ€ of Georgia, these nutty, grape must sausages were historically a soldier’s snack. Today, they’re a testament to Georgian ingenuityโ€”offering a chewy, sweet, and protein-packed treat that fuels you through your explorations.

georgian food and drink

Pkhali: A Symphony of Vegetables and Walnuts

Want to get your kiddies to eat their vegetables? Pkhali turns vegetables into vibrant canvases of flavor, each a colorful blend of pureed veggies, walnuts, and herbs. This dish is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the palate, with its crown of pomegranate seeds adding a burst of tartness that cuts through the richness.

georgian food & wine

Orange Wine: A Legacy of the Vine

Nothing to do with the citrus fruit and everything to offer in complexity and refinement. If wine could tell stories, Georgian orange wine would recite epics of ancient viniculture, its amber hue reminiscent of a setting sun. This wineโ€”robust, with a tannic grip and complex notesโ€”challenges the palate and rewards the adventurous with its depth and history. A Georgian winemaker made it very clear to me that Georgian wines are to be enjoyed with your meal. Best savored with friends always bringing a festive moment to the table.

Satsivi: A Celebration of Sauce

Silky, nutty, and enchantingly spiced, satsivi sauce transforms chicken into a dish worthy of the most lavish Georgian feast. Itโ€™s a culinary hug that combines the warmth of walnuts and the zest of garlic, draped over tender poultry that begs for just one more bite.

Georgian food & drink

Ajapsandali: A Spicy Mรฉlange

Ajapsandali is a vibrant testament to the power of the Georgian summer garden, marrying eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes in a spicy, garlicky stew that sings with the flavors of the Caucasus. While this may look to you like the French ratatouille or the Spanish pisto, this is a dish that is a taste of Georgia in every bite. Each spoonful is a burst of summer, spiced with the memories of sun-drenched days.

Georgian Food & Wine

Lobio: More Than Just Beans

I love a good bean dish and in Georgia I was not disappointed. In Georgia, lobio is not merely beans; it’s a narrative of the earth itself, infused with spices and herbs that tell tales of the Georgian countryside. This dish, with its hearty texture and complex flavors, is both humble and profoundโ€”like Georgia itself.

georgian lobio

Chacha: The Spirit of Georgia

Chacha is more than just a grape brandy; it’s Georgia’s fiery heartbeat in liquid form. Clear and potent, it captures the wild spirit of the vineyards and the soul of its people, a traditional toast to health and happiness. If you are offered chacha, you are offered friendship in a glass.

Georgian chacha

Georgian Cheese: The Taste of the Mountains

From the supple, saltiness of Sulguni to the creamy depth of Imeretian, Georgian cheese is a landscape of flavor. Each variety tells a story of mountain pastures and time-honored techniques, a dairy tradition as old as the hills.

georgian cheese
Georgian Home-Made Cheese

The Supra – A Feast of Friendship

Donโ€™t be surprised if you sit down at a Georgian table and find yourself lingering for hours. In Georgia, a meal is a supraโ€”a table bending under the weight of dishes, a celebration of life’s bounty. This culinary journey through Georgia offers a taste of a culture where every dish has a story and every meal is shared with open hearts and generous spirits.

This Georgian culinary guide aims to entice you to visit and experience the rich flavors of Georgia firsthand. A safe and inviting place to explore the traditions and culinary delights of the Caucasus.

Join us for a taste of Georgia from feasts to wine country with a Letโ€™s Eat Georgia tour from Letโ€™s Eat The World.

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