GEORGIAN CUISINE
“In Georgia nougat is called gozinaki!”
02 November, 2015
“It can be white – with beaten egg whites – or black – without egg whites. It always contains honey and / or sugar, nuts and / or dried fruits, whole, crushed or ground, seeds and flavors of all kinds. Hmmmm… I am talking about nougat!”- the 196 Flavors website informs.

“I warned you my publication about halwa Bahraini would not be my last nougat recipe! So after Cyprus and its pastellaki, Israel and its halva, we are going to
Georgia…And in Georgia, nougat is called gozinaki!

But let’s talk about nougat before returning to Tbilisi! Today, no source confirms precisely the exact date of the creation of nougat. However, we know that in ancient times, a candy made in the East was called haloua or halwa, which comes from the word hlou meaning sweet Arabic. At that time, nougat is essentially composed of sugar, pistachio, orange blossom water and / or vanilla.
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Its manufacturing process was also known to the Greeks, who prepared it with nuts, hence the origin of its name nux gatum (walnut cake in Latin), the ancient name of nougat.

Nougat was imported to France in the seventeenth century, more precisely in Provence and Marseille which long had a monopoly for its manufacturing.

In the seventeenth century, Olivier de Serres planted the first almond tree in near Montelimar and the fruit was used to make nougat. With its success, he multiplied the number of almond trees and thus Montelimar nougat stole the show from Marseille.

The famous and true Montelimar nougat as we know it today emerged in the mid-eighteenth century with the addition of egg whites, melted with honey and sugar, in order to aerate the end result.

But back to Georgia. Gozinaki is made with nuts and boiled honey. This is the most popular dessert in Georgia and started to appear in ancient Georgia. Traditionally, this dessert is served at the Christmas and New Year’s tables as a symbol of wealth but also as a promise for a sweet and happy life and success in all endeavors.
Today, there are many recipes for that sweet treat. They often include almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, peanuts, but also poppy, flax or sesame seeds. It is said in Georgia that with the promise of a happy life, all fantasies and all combinations are possible for this recipe. So I had two fantasies myself: first the traditional recipe mainly made of walnuts and then a version based on almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and flax seeds.

Gozinaki is the Georgian tradition for Christmas and New Year. And when you are Georgian, you not only gotta love gozinaki but also the tradition that goes along with it. This tradition is called the mekvle or tradition of the lucky charm.

Georgians believe that the first person who crosses the threshold of their house after the New Year will bring great happiness. This person is called mekvle. The morning of the last day of the year, gozinaki and other sweets are prepared in every household. A basket is filled with those treats, to which is added fresh eggs, mandarins and pears. Each family then chooses someone, among the men of the house, who will be the makoutchkhouri or “leg of destiny”, usually a wise man or a young innocent boy but very rarely a woman!” – the 196 Flavors website says.
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Recipe of Gozinaki with Walnuts

Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup honey
4 cups shelled walnuts
4 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preparation

Roast the walnuts and break them into small pieces with a knife.
Pour the honey in a non-stick pan, put on low heat and bring to a boil.
When the honey begins to foam, remove from heat and let cool.
Put it back on the stove and repeat this procedure twice to allow the honey to thicken.
Add the powdered sugar and stir until reaching boiling point again.
Pour the walnuts and mix well.
When the walnuts are starting to change color (about 3 minutes), remove from heat.

First Method

Immediately pour the mixture on a wet and oiled wooden board.
Spread evenly on the board with a wet hand or the back of an oiled metal spoon.
Level with an oiled roll pin.
Adjust the edges with your hands or with a knife to obtain a square or round of about 1/2 inch thick.
Using a heated and oiled knife blade, cut equal triangular or diamond-shaped pieces.

Second Method

Immediately pour the mixture on a wet and oiled wooden board.
Form a cylinder of about 1 1/2 inch diameter.
Let cool for 10 minutes.
Using a heated and oiled knife blade, cut equal slices.

For more information follow the link

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