We continue our series of articles about our trip to Georgia. In this article we taste some of the local food.
The guide books tell you there are two staples of Georgian cuisine: kachapuri (a range of cheese pies) and kinkhali (pork and beef dumplings).
As soon as we had found a hotel in Batumi and dumped the bags, we went to the local bakery to try kachapuri.
The photo shows only one form of this hearty snack. We shared four different ones and, despite being known as ‘cheese’ pies, one variety actually contains minced beef and onion.
There are also at least two types of pastry used, think short crust and puff.
The local speciality is a large boat-shaped kachapuri (like a pide) and just before serving they break an egg on top of the melted cheese which is already running in butter.
We saw these being served to other people but managed to resist trying one ourselves.
In fact we weren’t too impressed with the kachapuri we did try.
Incredibly heavy food that would probably be welcome at the end of a brisk 10km hike, but did not fit with strolling around urban Batumi.
So that evening two members of the party shared four kinkhali.
We politely ate them with a knife and fork and, as soon as the outer skin was perforated, out poured a watery, but quite tasty, gravy – which we mopped up with bread from our plates.
Having finished our dumplings we watched Georgians eating them and realised the technique is to eat them with your fingers. Hold the dumpling by the topknot, take a bite and ‘drink’ the gravy. Then chew the rest – each dumpling contains a mouthful of a mixed beef and pork minced meat.
Actually we weren’t too enamoured of kinkhali either, but don’t despair as we found lots of Georgian food that we really enjoyed and will write about some of that next time.