Some of the Best Bread in Georgia Is Found on the Side of the Highway
02 June, 2015
Some of the Best Bread in Georgia Is Found on the Side of the Highway
“My head was pressed up against the window and my feet were wedged on top of a suitcase. Somewhere between Kutaisi and Borjomi, I had fallen asleep in a marshrutka, one of countless minibuses that comprise public transportation in the Republic of Georgia,” Munchies.vice.com website reports.

“Suddenly, my friend woke me up. “Look!” he said, pointing out the window. We were on a stretch of highway that was surrounded by small wooden huts. A group of mostly tough-look
ing women dressed in soft clothes stood outside with piles of bread. Bakers waved down cars, hands and arms flailing, trying to sell their goods.

The marshrutka stopped. The driver passed a couple of bills out the window in return for a few loaves, which he passed back to an elderly Georgian woman sharing our ride. As I was still groggy, it happened too quickly for me to communicate through hand gestures—and the dozen or so words I knew in both Georgian and Russian—that I also wanted some.

The marshrutka kept driving, but I couldn’t fall back asleep. Now I wanted bread—that bread.

But what was that bread? And why was it being sold next to the highway? There were no buildings to be seen, only the small wooden huts that bordered a forest of tall trees.

That evening, once we had reached Borjomi (a resort town know for its salty mineral water), I pulled out Darra Goldstein‘s A Georgian Feast: The Vibrant Culture and Savory Food of the Republic of Georgia, a cookbook that I was using as a travel guide. Lonely Planet mentioned nothing about Surami, the town next to this culinary strip of highway, nor this type of bread—but Darra Goldstein, a scholar and arguably the authority on Georgian cuisine, did.

The bread is called nazuki. It’s not weighed down with cheese, like Georgia’s famous khachapuri; instead, this sweet bread is flavored with spices.

First published in 1993, the book contains a new preface written in 2013 that surveys the food landscape in this tiny country since the Soviet era: “City dwellers from Tbilisi eagerly make pilgrimages to the village of Surami, known for its clay-oven nazuki, an aromatic, slightly sweet yeast bread speckled with raisins.”

I had passed this pilgrimage site and had barely woken up in time to realize it.

Two days later, I asked a cab driver to take me back to that strip of highway. I was heading to Gore, Stalin’s birthplace in the east, but first I needed to go back west. The driver chain-smoked as I explained that I wanted to buy nazuki. “And then to Surami?” he asked. “No, just the highway.”

We stopped at the first couple of huts. I bought two loaves and immediately ate one. It was still warm, the raisins plump.

Georgians take bread very seriously. They still bake bread in tonés, clay ovens that are similar to the tandoor. Without added preservatives or enhancers, a loaf doesn’t keep well, so baking is a daily practice.

geotv.ge

Because of the extreme heat of the toné, Goldstein writes that it is difficult to reproduce most Georgian breads at home. The heat is an ingredient itself, one that is responsible for the bread’s texture and taste. With that said, Goldstein claims that nazuki is the exception, giving home bakers the green light. Although not traditional, she recommends slathering it with lemon marmalade and calling it breakfast.

Goldstein’s recipe for nazuki is fairly standard for any sweet, yeasted bread: milk, dry yeast, a pinch of sugar, two eggs, butter, more sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla extract, white flour, and a beaten egg yolk for brushing. There is one spice, however, that sets it apart: ground coriander seeds. She writes, “[Variations] of nazuki are found throughout the Middle East, but the addition of ground coriander makes this version distinctly Georgian.”

The ground coriander might not be negotiable, but raisins seem to be.

geotv.ge

Her recipe forgoes them. “I added the info about Surami nazuki to the new printing of The Georgian Feast but didn’t change the original recipes,” Goldstein tells me in an email. The nazuki she knows from the late Soviet era didn’t have raisins…

“Surami became famous for nazuki because it’s on the main highway between Tbilisi and Kutaisi and is also a resort town,” says Goldstein. Probably some enterprising woman began selling nazuki on the roadside to hungry travelers, and it became so popular that others followed suit until it became a local artisanal industry. Nazuki is definitely a regional specialty, but it doesn’t have any particular celebratory or seasonal meaning—it’s made year-round.”

Nazuki also does not seem to have much of a presence outside of the country. The Georgian restaurants I’ve tried in Munich, Berlin, and St. Petersburg don’t have it. Not even the Bread House in Tbilisi, a restaurant with a heavy focus on bread, bakes it.

I’ve rarely encountered a food as elusive. After two weeks of traveling across Georgia, the only place I ever saw nazuki was on this strip of highway. In an age in which you can eat Memphis-style barbecue in Seoul and Korean barbecue in Cairo, it seems like food has never been more accessible, no matter your geography.
But for now, if you fancy nazuki, your best bet is to start baking—or to hit the road.”

For more information follow the link

Related Story:

Nazuki - Sweet Georgian cinnamon bread with raisins
Print
Other Stories
The National Khachapuri Day - 27th of February
On February 27th 2020, the Gastronomic Association of Georgia have introduced the primary results of the very first scientific research on the tradition of authentic pastry Khachapuri in Georgia
Georgian Cuisine and Polyphony Given The Category of National Importance
Georgian cuisine and polyphony were given the category of national importance
Shkmeruli Becoming Popular in Japan
Japanese News Portal "Yahoo News Japan" has recently published a post with the title "Shkmeruli is the best dish ever but how can we deal with garlic breath?
Bocuse d’Or - Europe Continental Culinary Arts Championship
Bocuse d’Or the very first team Georgia to perform and represent Georgian gastronomy at Bocuse d’Or European Selection.
Georgian Restaurant in Heilbronn,Germany
If you happen to be in Heilbronn, Germany, make sure you visit an astonishing Georgian restaurant "Georgisches Restaurant am Mönchsee," which keeps not only German people but guests from around the world amazed.
Fondue Pizza or Adjaruli Khachapuri?
If you are familiar with Georgian cuisine and have also heard about La Fonduta, you will definitely say that it reminds you about one popular Georgian dish- Adjaruli Khachapuri.
Georgian food and wine is now finding its rightful place on tables around the world, writes CNN
Georgian food and wine, long revered for its individuality, exoticness, and delectability, is now finding its rightful place on tables around the world.
Top 14 vegetarian Georgian dishes to try
Georgian cuisine is rich in various kinds of dishes, starting with hearty meat and cheesy foods ending with simplest and tastiest veggie meals full of essential nutrients.
Which traditional foods to try in Georgia
A foreign couple that enjoys traveling and runs its own website katherinebelarmino.com, offers list of most delicious traditional dishes to try in Georgia.
Refreshing and spicy Georgian matsoni sauce
Mastoni is a Georgian unsweetened yogurt that could be consumed on its own as well as with honey, jam,
Forgotten Georgian dishes and how to prepare them – Culinary guide
Cuisine is an important part of Georgia’s culture and we gladly share it with foreign guests and tourists.
Most delicious sandwich with sulguni cheese
Everyone can prepare sandwich to one’s taste, but the secret to the most delicious homemade sandwich lies in soft and tender Georgian sulguni
Satsivi with chicken – The easiest recipe for everyone
Winter holidays are approaching and it is high time to plan New Year’s menu.
5 best Georgian semi-sweet wines
Typically, Georgia has always been home to dry wines and this tradition maintained to his day.
A story about the most delicious Adjarian Khachapuri in the city
History of the Georgian stuffed pastry dates back to centuries and still continues in an endless tradition in modern Georgia.
Georgia: A Haven for Vegetarian Foodies
Georgia has so much to rave about - Khorumi dancing, a rich ancient history, one of the world's oldest languages, post-card mountain villages and glistening Black Sea beaches, just to name a few.
Georgian restaurant ‘Natali’ in Spain
There are more and more Georgian restaurants appearing abroad.
Traveler devotes a vlog to the traditional Georgian cuisine
Last year Jodie Dewberry, a traveler who makes videos of her adventures throughout the world, visited Georgia with her friends.
Georgia: The Culinary Muse of the Caucasus owes a lot to Barbare Jorjadze
The New Yorker has recently devoted an article to the culinary of Georgia.
Video guide for some of Georgian dishes and traditions
It is not the first time Georgia and Georgian cuisine has become inspiration for others to write and explore more about the country.
Khachapuri featured on Youtube by Chef John
Khachapuri, a signature of Georgian cuisine has been featured on Youtube through the channel Food Wishes.
The Revival of Traditional Georgian Cheese-making
Saveur has devoted an article to the lesser-known types of Georgian cheese.
Georgian chef and embassy counselor at Fox 5 morning show
Georgian chef and Counselor of the Georgian embassy in Washington DC were invited to take part in the morning show at American TV Fox 5.
Top 5 local cheese types to taste in Georgia
Georgia is among the best cheese manufacturing countries.
The World Talks about Georgian Shoti Bread
Georgian cuisine is well-known across the world.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
10.07.2020
11.07.2020
USD
1
USD
3.0600
3.0624
EUR
1
EUR
3.4655
3.4593
GBP
1
GBP
3.8681
3.8617
RUB
100
RUB
4.3263
4.3016
750ml
White Dry
None  / 2016
18.30
750ml
Kvevri
Zangaura  / 2015
19.90
750ml
Red Semi-Sweet
Schuchmann Wines  / 2015
26.95
Other Stories
Now everyone knows Khachapuri, popular cheese bread from Georgia, that has become a must dish in New York city.
Georgian food and trademarks such as khachapuri, cheese bread, khinkali, meat dumplings, nigvziani badrijani, eggplant rolls with walnut
Extremely delicious cheese bread Adjaruli Khachapuri from Georgia’s mountainous Adjara Region
Anthony Bourdain is well-known in the US for his Emmy-winning travel show “Parts Unknown,” on CNN. One of the last episodes was dedicated to Georgia.
Popular Georgian cheese bread Adrajuli khachapuri has been spotlighted by world-famous website Culture Trip.
Combining wine and cheese is an unquenchable subject and it is being discussed by many gourmets and experts around the world.
Adjarian dishes are an integral part of Georgian cuisine and its culture.
World famous American food channel Food Network published a video recipe of a popular Georgian cheese bread Adjaruli Khachapuri.
Georgian cuisine, known for its hearty dishes and unique spicy flavors, has gone beyond Georgia's borders and captivated the hearts of many food enthusiasts around the world.
Georgian boat-shaped cheese bread named Adjaruli Khachapuri is not only Georgians’ beloved dish but now has already become a favorite dish of many people internationally.