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Georgian feast

12 August, 2018

On Sololaki hill in Tbilisi stands an interesting sculpture - “Mother Georgia“ -20 meters in height.Soviet monumentalism, may not be that impressive, of course, but we did not remember it for this reason. In one hand, “Mother Georgia“ holds a sword, in the other - a bowl of wine. The sword is for the enemies, wine is for the dear guests. This is the essence of the Georgian soul. Even when coming here as a tourist, you will still feel that you have come to visit relatives. And what kind of guests without a feast!

In Georgia, in a restaurant or cafe, as a rule, they order dishes for everyone on the table, and then each person decides what she/he likes more. Start an acquaintance with Georgian cuisine with khinkali. They look like big dumplings, inside, respectively, with minced meat. But in fact, they can be done with anything: from mushrooms to potatoes. Khinkali is important not just to try, but to learn how to eat properly. So, put aside the fork and knife, take khinkali for the “leg“ with your hands. Then turn over like an umbrella and bite a bit. The dough should have a small hole. Then drink the inner liquid. Warning, it can be hot! Now, finally, start eating the rest. Do not eat the leg, leave it on a plate. And then count how many “legs“ someone left and find out who became champion of eating khinkali! Just do not eat too much, we have many more to come. Now let‘s try khachapuri. Under such a mysterious name the following is hidden ... a kind of flat cake with cheese. However, this is understandable even from the name: “hacho“ in Georgian “cottage cheese“, and “puri“ - bread. In every region of Georgia khachapuri is prepared in different ways. Sometimes they do not even resemble each other, but this is the same khachapuri. Imeretian khachapuri is similar to a distant relative of Margarita‘s pizza, and Adjarian - to a relative of our Vatrushka. Only its dimensions are completely different, and no sugar is placed in the dough or in the filling. When the Adjarian khachapuri is served at the table, a piece of butter and raw yolk is added to the cheese-curd “middle“, which should be stirred. By the way, before you eat Adjarian khachapuri, you need a small master class. So, break off small pieces from the bread, and dip them into cheese. We start with the “ears“, then go to the edges. The last we eat is the “bottom“. Khachapuri is a very nutritious dish, so carefully choose the right size. Such dishes as Satsivi, Chakhokhbili and, of course, barbecue, do not need any additional advertisements or special explanations. Therefore, we leave the meat section for free research.

Add a few words about the vegetable menu. In Georgia they love and very well know how to cook beans, which is called “lobbio“ here. If you see a dish with this name in the menu, know that it‘s about beans cooked in a special way in a small clay pot. Do not mix it up with “lobbiani“ - pie with beans, which looks like Imeretian khachapuri. And by the way, this is perhaps the second dish after khachapuri, on which the street and fast food in Georgia is based.

After we ate, we want to drink something. Georgian wine-making, perhaps, should be devoted a separate story, but we can talk about lemonades right now. Of course, the most delicious of them, are not sold in stores, and are not even ordered at any cafes. These are the so-called “waters of

Lagidze“, which were invented at the end of the XIX century by a simple assistant of the pharmacist from Kutaisi Mitrofan Lagidze. He invented such a peculiar and delicious composition of syrup that became a supplier of the imperial court in Russia, and also won several awards at exhibitions in Vienna and Moscow. Nowadays Lagidze‘s waters can be tasted at special cafes with the same name, and in some other cafes and restaurants. But ordinary lemonades, which are sold in any Georgian grocery stores, or cafes, are no less pleasant to taste, especially on a hot afternoon. So do not miss it! 

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