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Georgian food: 10 things we love

Homegrown produce

Georgia has a strong agricultural heritage and young people are reidentifying with these roots by launching new farming businesses using a mixture of modern and ancient techniques. Many people have their own allotment in which they grow fresh produce to make preserves and wine, and keep bees for honey.

Wooden beehives against the backdrop of mountains.


There are as many variations of this Georgian cheese bread as there are women in Georgia. Legend says that those from the Black Sea coast, adjaruli, are boat shaped as they are made as lucky charms by the wives of fishermen, and topped with eggs as a symbol of the sun. Imeruli is circular and filled with salted cheese from the Imereti region in the west, while Osuri/Ossetian is stuffed with cheese and potato. Recently I bumped into an old neighbour I used to play with as a young girl, and I immediately recalled the exact taste of the cheese bread her grandma used to make.

Khachapuri in Adjarian on the Board.

Spring ingredients and dishes

Springtime in Georgia is associated with the aroma of fresh produce, particularly dill, which we use to make a crispy, pan-fried new potato dish. Pink basil and green plums are also in abundance, the latter combined with tarragon to make chakapuli lamb stew. In early summer locals make tkemali plum sauce to use in dishes through the coming months.

Discover more springtime dishes.

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Traditional Georgian dish Chakapuli in the bowl served on the table with glass of amber wine


There are many types of these boiled dumplings but the most typical is stuffed with beef and pork. Those made in the mountains are more rustic in shape and use spices, whereas herbs are used in the cities. I like mine filled with cheese. Those in the know hold each one by the twisted stalk and bite into the base so that the juice doesn't escape. The more pleats the better.

Khinkali Recipe Georgian National Traditional Cuisine Cooking Process Kitchen Food Concept


Tangy blue fenugreek seeds grow in the mountains in northern Georgia, while dried marigold petals lend a yellow earthiness to stews and salads. Both are used to create ajika chilli spice mixture, used to make dishes such as kidney bean dish, lobio. Georgian thyme has a very strong flavour and is used in kuchmachi, offal stir-fry.

Georgian wine

Georgia is regarded as the birthplace of wine, with evidence of winemaking on the eastern coast of the Black Sea dating back to at least 6,000 BC. Today, the capital, Tbilisi, has a vibrant restaurant scene, with contemporary bistros and wine bars showcasing the variety of bottles available. Grapes are also used to make chacha, or grape vodka.

Find out about the best Georgian wines to buy.

Wine and cheese served for a friendly party in a bar or a restaurant.


These sweet, candle-shaped treats are made at the end of October during the grape harvest. Locals collect juice, boil it with honey and dip in strings of whole walnuts so they are coated in the mixture. We store them for new year and enjoy coated in icing sugar.

Churchkhela in street market. Ttraditional Georgian candle-shaped candy. Tbilisi. Georgia

Communal gatherings

Sundays are set aside for long lunches with the extended family. Though the culture is changing now, food is traditionally never eaten alone, and neighbours often gather in communal spaces to enjoy mint tea and cake.

Ghomi porridge rituals

This hearty, savoury porridge made from cornmeal comes from the lush Samegrelo region in the west. The ritual involves making a little hole in the middle of your bowl and filling with minty cottage cheese. It’s also delicious served with roast chicken and walnut sauce.


Walnuts are embedded into Georgian cuisine and culture. Walnut trees were traditionally a sacred symbol, and many households
grow their own. In a typical fridge there will be khmeli suneli, in which walnuts are ground with fenugreek, coriander, dried marigold and crushed garlic to stir into kharcho meat stews, toss through salads and pound with vegetables to make pkhali.


Find out more about the best things to eat and drink in Georgia.

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