KHACHAPURI IS GEORGIA!

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If you are fond of traveling, exploring new customs and traditions, meeting bizarre people, tasting good wine and strange and interesting food, Georgia is the right destination for you!

This is a rather distinctive country in many directions, but culinary is one of the strongest expressions of this originality.

If someone decides to characterize courtiers through their most popular dishes on a world culinary map, without a doubt, khachapuri would be a symbol of Georgia. Everyone loves khachapuri: both adults and children, Christians, Jews, or Muslims, vegetarians and meat-eaters … You can take pleasure from in any season and at any time of day, whether the khachapuri is newly backed or warmed up from the day before.

To evaluate Georgia’s economic situation, economists and financiers have worked out a special index based on Georgia’s important dish khachapuri – a price dynamic of the essential ingredients needed to cook one standard Imeretian khachapuri: the KHACHAPURI INDEX.

A Polish friend of mine calls them – “calorie bombs”.

My friends, if you are interested in Georgia and want to take a sampling of gastronomic delights (and not only the daily minimum amount of calories) then, please leave these “calories” and “ bombs” where you want, just relax and take maximum pleasure by tasting khachapuri. You can try standing firm, but the magic word “khachapuri” and its overwhelming accompanying aroma are almost sure to overcome (no matter how  replete you are, you won’t be able to overcome the temptation not to eat at least a piece of it!). While catching a glimpse of the golden surface slightly whitened with flour, and cheese stretching from the slice as you pull it away – almost as if the slice doesn’t want to separate from its parent – I am sure you will obediently bend your head down and take the biggest piece and…. The “calorie bomb” will become an immediate “pleasure bomb” for you!

That is how khachapuri’s magic works.

I would give a little advice, – don’t resist it. You are staying here for just a short while, soon to return home where you can go on with the boring counting of calories. Before you go, just let khachapuri work its magic on you; chill out and enjoy!

This is a Georgian dish and its name shows it well, the word “khachapuri” means curds and bread, but today it consists of cheese baked in dough, meat, vegetables and many other variations. Khachapuri is an ancient dish, still developing today and trying to adapt to modern times. It has great perspectives for the future!

Khachapuri is Georgia!

You are an honored friend for Georgians, especially if you spread the word that you love or at least like khachapuri, but don’t lie, because it’s almost impossible not to come across khachapuri here and you will have to assert your devotion and love towards this dish over and over again!

A CLASSICAL KHACHAPURI IS A CHEESE-FILLED CAKE MADE OF A YEASTED SOFT DOUGH OF WHEAT FLOUR AND NEW COW’S MILK (RICOTTA) CHEESE, WHICH IS BAKED ON A FRYING-PAN OR KETSI (A KIND OF EARTHENWARE FRYING-PAN) WITHOUT FAT. THIS IS THE SO-CALLED “IMERETIAN KHACHAPURI,” WHICH MIGHT BE REGARDED AS AN ETALON OF KHACHAPURI IN GENERAL. THE FILLING MAY ALSO VARY, BUT ONE SHOULDN’T THINK THAT FILLING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN DOUGH. IT’S LIKE THE PRINCIPLE OF SANDWICHES – IF THE BREAD IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH, IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE WHAT YOU PUT BETWEEN THE SLICES. DOUGH RECIPES ARE VERSATILE AND DIFFER ACCORDING TO KHACHAPURI TYPE.

TRADITIONALLY, KHACHAPURI IS MORE COMMON WITH A CHEESE FILLING IN GEORGIA.

        There are different types of khachapuri according to region:

  • Imeretian khachapuri – with Imeretian cheese (ricotta)

  • Megrelian khachapuri – with sulguni cheese (mozzarella)

  • AJarian khachapuri – with cheese and an egg

  • Svanetian khachapuri – with cheese, and a green onion

  • Rachvelian (bachuli) khachapuri – with cheese and baked in a quadrangle shape

  • Ossetian (khabizgina) khachapuri – with cheese and boiled potatoes

  • Abkhazian (achma) khachapuri – with boiled dough layers, looks like lasagna

  • Gurulian khachapuri – with cheese and a boiled egg

There are other interesting varieties as well, for example, Svanetian – with millet seeds and cheese filling, which was also once seasoned with hemp seeds before the prohibition of marihuana. I won’t go into detail about the varieties of khachapuri, as I hope you will experience this taste on your own in Georgia; I merely wish to draw a picture for you in order to be prepared for that “calorie pleasure bomb.

” However, the Adjarian khachapuri, shaped like a boat is worthy of a separate description. Adjara is a coastal region where Adjarians and Lazians live together. Lazians used to be perfect fishermen and maybe that’s why they gave their khachapuri a boat shape. This roasted “boat” with fatty grated cheese filling is cooked in a firewood oven for fifteen minutes, after which it is taken out and glazed with an egg before being put back in the oven for several minutes – the egg yolk should be half raw. A piece of creamy butter is added to the boat before serving. The eating is also an art as you should pull off the soft crust to dip into the mix of cheese, egg and butter… and once you start it’s very hard to stop! This beautiful khachapuri is a real danger for those calorie-counting homo-sapiens, but a person (if he is not allergic to dairy products)exploring Georgia should taste it at least once in his lifetime. Such dishes can be found in Turkish cuisine as well, a result of the regional neighborhood. Thus, Adjarian khachapuri and khachapuri in general, with its all hypostasesy is one of the features of the Georgian distinctiveness.

Adjara is the homeland for Adjarian khachapuri. The vivid blue sea and golden Adjarian khachapuri make a fascinating blend. There are many spots in Batumi famous for good khachapuri, but I tend to point out café “Retro” and its chef Gia, who not only managed to make a chain but also to bring the true “Batumi taste” to Tbilisi in a café with a similar name. The café, with its simple interior, has a particular interesting detail – a glass wall, dividing the bakery and the dining hall, which gives visitors an opportunity to observe the majestic process of khachapuri cooking – a virtuosic interaction of cook and dough. It is significant that the dishes of this café have preserved their taste and quality for a number of years.

While being in Batumi, don’t forget to drop into café “Retro” at N54/62 Gorgiladze Str. and.10. E. Takaishvili St.

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