Georgians were ruled by Greeks, Romans, Iranians, Arabs, Byzantians, Mongolians, Ottomans, and Russians over the years. All of them brought their cuisine and ingredients into Georgia. Georgia managed to incorporate all the new ingredients and meals to create an identity for Georgian cuisine. When you eat Georgian food, you do not think it is Mongolian or Chinese but Georgian.
Here are the top 10 dishes to taste in Georgia:
khachapuri is the most famous dish in Georgia. The pastry is traditionally topped with melted cheese, eggs and butter. There are different types of khachapuri but it is usually filled with Georgian Sulguni or Imeretian cheese. Three of the most common varieties include the Imeretian khachapuri, shaped into a circular form, Adjarian khachapuri, the open-faced version topped with butter and a raw egg on top and Megrelian Khachapuri shaped into a circular form and topped with melted cheese.
Kuchmachi is a traditional Georgian dish made of pork/chicken hearts, livers, gizzards mixed with walnuts and pomegranate.
Shkmeruli (roast chicken in garlic sauce) is a very old Rachan dish and it is one of the most popular dishes in Georgian restaurants. It has to be noted that the name derives from one of the villages in Racha region of Georgia, Shkmeri, which is said to be the place where this food has originated.
Georgian dumplings known as khinkali are considered to be one of the national dishes of the country. The dumplings are filled with meat and spices (mushrooms, potatoes, cheese can be used instead of meat), then traditionally twisted into a knot at the top. Regional differences influence the fillings and every part of Georgia has their distinctive variety. For example, in the mountainous regions, the most traditional filling is lamb.
The most frequent variety (often served in Georgian restaurants) throughout entire Georgia is a mixture of pork and beef.
Ostri is hot and spicy beef with tomato sauce. The meat should be very tender when fully cooked.
Kubdari is a bread filled with beef, pork, or a combination of the two flavored with spices such as cumin, dill, coriander, blue fenugreek, red pepper, onions, garlic, and salt. The dough consists of flour, water, yeast, sugar, salt, and eggs. Interestingly, the meat used in this savory pie should be cut, not minced. Kubdari originates from Svaneti, one of the most beautiful mountainous and winter resorts in Georgia.
Chikhirtma is a famous Georgian soap. It is often believed that the soap is the best hangover cure. It consists of chicken pieces, onions, eggs, flour, vinegar, water, and seasonings such as salt, bay leaves, and coriander. It has a slightly sour flavor and a thick, creamy consistency. The soup is usually served hot, and it is recommended to garnish it with freshly chopped coriander.
Satsivi is a thick nut paste. It usually includes garlic, coriander, cinnamon, vinegar, and hot peppers. Satsivi is typically served as an accompaniment to meat dishes. However, it can also be served with vegetable dishes, alongside fish, or even with boiled eggs.
Elarji is a specialty of the Georgian Samegrelo region (western Georgia), prepared as a thick porridge consisting of coarse cornmeal, cornflour, and sulguni cheese. The dish has an extremely thick texture, and it is very elastic. It is traditionally served hot and consumed with Georgian bazhe sauce, made with garlic, walnuts, and various spices.
Pkhali is a traditional Georgian dish of chopped and minced vegetables, made of cabbage, eggplant, spinach, beans, beets and combined with ground walnuts, vinegar, onions, garlic, and herbs.