GEORGIAN CUISINE
Khachapuri is worthy of national dish status – Boston Globe
23 April, 2016
Famous Georgian national dish named Khachapuri (cheese bread) is conquering different countries and restaurants day by day. Its popularity has increased to such extent, that one may have a reasonable doubt that soon it will surpass the world famous and much beloved pizza. Here we present to you yet another foreign publication that dedicated a lengthy article to Georgian cheese pie:

"TBILISI, Republic of Georgia – Whatever you can make with flour, water, eggs, and cheese the Georgians make. That
includes many turnovers in different shapes, crepes, and a variety of flatbreads, something like pizza, called khachapuri. This national dish is so popular, that in some family restaurants, where three generations might be dining together, you see waiters carrying trays heaped with half a dozen.

Khachapuri is hearty, as is most Georgian food. The country, which divides Europe and Asia, is a former Soviet republic located in the Caucasus, south of Russia (Georgia gained independence in 1991); the Black Sea is on Georgia’s west coast, Turkey and Armenia are to the south, and Azerbaijan to the east. The pizza-like specialty comes flat and round or turnover-shaped, always with cheese (the name khachapuri blends the words for “curds” with “bread”). One of the most popular versions is a boat-shaped pie called Adjaruli khachapuri, originally a specialty of Adjara on the Black Sea. Now the dish is on some New York menus and gaining popularity in Israel, brought there when Georgian Jews emigrated in the 1970s.

What distinguishes Adjaruli khachapuri from the other varieties is its shape and a bright golden egg (often just the yolk) that sits on the melted cheese filling, ready to be broken and swirled into the hot fondue. The pie is addictive. It comes to the table looking like it would be a generous serving for two, and you find yourself, as I did many times on a recent visit, devouring the entire thing.

Adjaruli khachapuri begins with a rich dough rolled into an oval, spread with a white cheese-and-egg filling, then shaped into a boat. In the oven — Georgian restaurants typically have wood-fired ovens — the cheese melts and the crust chars on the bottom. The pies are pulled from the heat, topped with an egg yolk, sent back to the oven for a minute or two, and served with a big nubbin of butter. At the table, you mix the piping hot cheese with the yolk and break off pieces of the crusty exterior to dip into the cheesy center. It’s buttery, salty, lightly smoky, and crunchy.

The only downside of this exceptional dish can be the soft seams inside at the point where the dough is folded up. In its short stay in the hot oven, the dough cannot cook through those thick areas. Some people prefer the doughiness and order Adjaruli khachapuri “tsomis” (with the dough). Others like edges that are just as crisp as the interior, so they order “gareshe” (without the dough). In that case, the cook bakes the boat, then takes a small spoon to scoop out and discard the doughy inside seam. When the pastry goes back into the oven with an egg on top, the cheese spreads right to the firm, crusty walls of dough.

Georgians typically use two cheeses in this khachapuri. One is fresh cow’s milk Imeretian, from the Imereti region in the middle of the country. The other is Sulguni from Samegrelo. This salty cheese, which is slightly sour, is made from cow’s, buffalo’s, or goat’s milk, and melts well. To make khachapuri in this country, the best combination of cheeses is aged mozzarella and feta", - Reads the article by Sheryl Julian on Bostonglobe.com.

Read full article at Bostonglobe.com

Related stories:

A new Georgian restaurant opens in New York

Adjaruli khachapuri among world’s 35 best dishes to try



Print