Georgian Food: by Alda Movan

Georgian food is very different from European cooking. However, it has something in common with its neighbouring Caucasian countries Azerbaijan and Armenia, but on the whole it differs from them greatly. You can’t mistake it. Georgian cooking uses lots of fresh herbs. Many dishes are cooked with ground walnuts, garlic and different herbs and spices. In west Georgian cooking is often very hot. At a dinner party the table is usually covered with a great variety of dishes. Some dishes are with fish or meat and some with vegetables. There are usually different kinds of roast meat, boiled chicken, roast young pig, and boiled beef and lamb or young sheep and veal which is the meat of a calf-a young cow. But Georgians don’t eat such a great variety of food every day. The first meal of the day is breakfast. The most typical breakfast is bread with cheese, eggs-omelettes or boiled honey and jam. A usual breakfast drink is tea or white coffee (with milk), or cocoa. The second meal of the day is lunch for almost everybody, young or old. It is khachapuri made of pastry with a fresh cheese stuffing. There are many different kinds of khachapuri and every part of Georgia has a special kind. The third meal of the day is dinner. People eat this meal at different times of the day since the daily schedules of different people are different. The usual dinner is some kind of soup for the first course followed by a dish of meat and vegetables and then a dessert. Beans and maize patties called “mchadi” are very common Georgian foods. There are specialized cafeterias called “salobie” (bean houses) in many places. There you can eat beans and mchadi that go very well with different kinds of pickles (pickled cucumbers or pickled green peppers) and fresh herbs.