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Georgian food. Khinkali and Khachapuri. What are they? How and where is it better to eat them?

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Georgia gives incredible, special experiences to every traveler fortunate enough to visit here. The most important thing about them is the people. Responsive and hospitable, they are sure to give you a hearty and delicious meal.
We want to tell you about the food and the culture of eating in Georgia in our series of articles for you to penetrate into the national cuisine and not to offend Georgians by refusing or not knowing exactly how to eat the food you are served.

Khinkali – what is it and how to eat it properly?

Probably one of the most important Georgian dishes. Khinkali were born in the mountainous regions. It is a peculiarly shaped large dumplings, but not quite! Inside the dough is placed chopped meat with spices (there are also with cheese, and with potatoes, and mushrooms, but the classic – meat).
Usually they are ordered in dozens. But with the mass arrival of guests from Europe, Tbilisi residents are no longer surprised by the fact that you want three khinkali with meat and two with cheese.

But if you go to eat in less touristy places, for example, Nadibani (village, on the way to Kazbek), then to order less than ten for one person, just not nice! Another popular hinkalaya is located in Pasanauri. Try it!

And, of course, you can eat khinkali at almost any restaurant or canteen. Georgians love them and are proud of them, as well as their entire culture.

Хинкали – что это и как правильно кушать?

It is important to know that you eat khinkali with your hands. You take the tail and gently bite off the side of the dough. Very carefully! Then you have to drink some broth from it and then you can eat the khinkali. But not the tail you were holding on to! We leave the tails on the plate or feed them to cats-dogs-anybody-who looks at you with hungry and pleading eyes.

What is khachapuri? Types of khachapuri

One could write a separate book about khachapuri. Do you know how many types there are? And we do not know, but there are many. The main ones are three. They are named after the region where they are most commonly used: imeruli, megruli, ajaruli.
What exactly is this khachapuri? It is a round flatbread pie with cheese, which is how it is translated: “cheese-bread”. By the way, there is a problem with yellow hard cheeses in Georgia. They are available, but they are quite expensive. But there is a variety of imeruli, sulguni, brynza, and gouda.

What is the difference between khachapuri from different regions?

Хачапури – что это, какие есть виды

The most common is imeruli. It is a closed flatbread with cheese.
Megruli – a flatbread with cheese not only inside, but also outside.
Ajaruli is the most unusual, the most delicious khachapuri. It is made open, in the shape of a boat. It is filled not only with cheese, but also with butter and egg (it is in a liquid state). It has a very delicate, warm flavor. And this khachapuri itself is very hearty, remember that!
You should also know that you eat it with your hands, like all other types of khachapuri. But ajaruli has its own peculiarities of eating: first you mix the stuffing with a fork, then you break off the crispy hot tip of the “boat” and use it to take it to your stomach. In this way, you nibble the dough all around the edges and then just eat the middle. Or don’t eat it, because it’s very filling!

Where to eat khachapuri?

Ajaruli is best enjoyed in Batumi. For example, there is “Laguna”, which is famous for its khachapuri throughout Georgia. In Tbilisi, however, there is a good place “Pasanauri”, a minute’s walk from the central street of Shota Rustaveli. They also serve good khinkali there.

But remember! The food in Georgia is good at any restaurant, in any house, in any street!
Make sure to have a feast after the mountain hike in Georgia, and have plenty to eat!

And of course, that’s not all. Get a taste of Georgian cuisine in our next articles.
Enjoy your meal!

Author: Katya Manojlo

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