Stop Buying Energy Bars—Make This Grape-And-Walnut Snack Instead
10 October, 2017
Stop Buying Energy Bars—Make This Grape-And-Walnut Snack Instead
Rodalesorganiclife.com, American publisher of health and wellness magazines, books, and digital properties, publishes an article about Churchkhela, a traditional Georgian sausage-shaped candy.

Churchkhela is often reffered to “Georgian Snickers” as long as it is quite delicious, contains lots of nuts
and is energizing. Most importantly, it is made from natural and organic ingredients – natural condensed grape Juice and walnuts or hazelnuts. The American publication advises its readers to stop buying energy bars and try this incredibly delicious Georgian candy instead.

Here is what the article says about Georgian Churchkhela:

As I elbowed my way through a never-ending food market in the Republic of Georgia, a strange dangly object kept catching my eye. Was it a sausage? A candle? A big, bumpy crayon?

I approached one of the stalls and pointed at it with a shrug, universal body language for “what the heck is that?” The reply came in a loud garble of consonants: “Churchkhela!” And the next thing I knew, a slice was thrust into my palm. I took a bite. It was fruity, crunchy, and denser than chocolate fudge—unlike anything I’d ever tasted, and I was hooked.

Churchkhela ("church-kay-lah") is a Georgian confection made by repeatedly dunking strands of nuts into thick, concentrated grape juice. After drying in the sun for a few days, the sticky exterior hardens around the knobbly nuts, creating a portable and shelf-stable product that might be your new favorite on-the-go snack.

Definitely also give homemade fruit leather a try. It's way easier to make than you think!

The sausage-shaped treats are such nutrient-rich powerhouses—thanks to the antioxidant-packed grapes and anti-inflammatory walnuts—that Georgian warriors would take them on their military maneuvers for dependable, durable sustenance.

Even today, Georgians will often pack a churchkhela or two for long hikes and car rides, though the sweets are such a labor of love that, unfortunately, most everyone buys sugar-bomb industrial versions these days. Having tasted the luxuriously rich and silky-textured homemade stuff in Georgian wine country, take my word for it: The hours spent threading, dipping, and drying are well worth the effort.
geotv.ge
Thickened grape juice cooking over a fire in Republic of Georgia.

Churchkhela is customarily made in the fall using leftover must from winemaking, but with excellent-quality nuts and grape juice (we like Santa Cruz Organic White) available year round, there’s no need to stick to seasonality. Just be sure to store your nuts properly—in the freezer is best—so they stay soft and fresh. (If the nuts seem crumbly, soak them in cold water for 20 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.)

Once you’ve got the dip-and-dry technique down, try experimenting with different fruit juices (cranberry, apple, and pomegranate, for instance). If you make your own juice, even better—simply run it through a fine sieve to rid it of any pulp and impurities, which can negatively affect the texture.
geotv.ge
Dipping strands of walnuts into thickened grape juice to make churchkhela, a traditional high-energy snack in the Republic of Georgia.

Then, consider varying the nut type. Walnuts, the traditional filling in eastern Georgia, make a thicker and richer churchkhela, while delicate hazelnuts are more typical in the west. (Surely some of our readers below the Mason-Dixon line are adventurous enough to swap in pecans.)

Whether gobbled on the go or savored alongside fine cheese and wine, churchkhela is a versatile snack that keeps for months, as convenient today as it was hundreds of years ago. Here, in a recipe adapted from Darra Goldstein’s The Georgian Feast that’s equal parts cooking and handicrafts, we show you how it’s made.

CHURCHKHELA

Makes 2 strands

40 walnut halves
1½ quarts white grape juice
¾ cup sugar
1 cup flour
Confectioners’ sugar

Thread a needle with a 30-inch length of heavy-duty thread. Knot the ends together. With the flat side of the nuts facing up, thread 20 walnut halves onto the thread, then thread the remaining walnut halves flat-side down. (It’s easier to thread them through the thinnest portion of the nut, rather than through the ridge)

Cut the thread from the needle and knot the ends. Then push half of the walnuts to that end of the thread, leaving about 6 inches of thread between the 2 portions of nuts. Pick up the thread from the top. You will have 2 separate strands of walnut halves hanging flat-side up.

In a large saucepan, combine the grape juice and sugar. Heat to just below the boiling point. Place the flour in a bowl and very gradually stir in the heated juice, whisking constantly so that no lumps form. When about half of the juice has been added to the flour, pour the remaining flour mixture into the saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened slightly.

Meanwhile, find a board about 4 inches wide and suspend it between two chairs. Place newspaper on the floor underneath to catch the drips.

Pick up the walnuts by the middle of the thread and slowly dip them into the juice mixture, using a spoon to coat the top sides, if necessary. Slowly pull them up from the juice and carefully drape the thread over the prepared board so that the walnut strands hang down over the newspaper.

Allow the nuts to dry for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the coating is just slightly tacky. Then return the nuts to the juice, which has been kept warm, and repeat the dipping process. Allow to dry again for 20 minutes or so. (It helps to hang the nut strands in front of an open window, or to dry them in front of a fan if the weather is damp.) The drier the coating, the better the next layer will adhere.

Repeat the dipping process 8 to 10 times, or until the nuts are completely coated. Leave to dry 3 to 4 days, until the strands are no longer sticky to the touch. When dry, pull out the strings.

To serve, cut the churchkhela into rounds.

Related stories:

Churchkhela – Delicious and energizing Georgian Snickers

From khinkali to churchkhela: a guide to Georgian food

Delicious process: Preparing famous Georgian candy churchkhela
Print
Other Stories
A taste of Georgia in the US capital

Two weeks ago the first Georgian restaurant in Washington D.C. opened its doors to food enthusiasts and lovers of the Georgian cuisine.
Khachapuri, Georgia’s addictive cousin to pizza - BBC
Traditional Georgian cheese bread Khachapuri has been spotlighted by BBC.
First Georgian restaurant opens in Washington DC
Washingtonian, popular monthly magazine distributed in the Washington, D.C. area, devotes an article to the opening of the first Georgian restaurant named Supra in Washington.
 Culinary map of Georgian cuisine – Top dishes to try in each region
Georgian cuisine is the integral part of Georgian culture and traditions.
 Dumplings with yogurt and onions from Samtskhe-Javakheti Region
Tatarberak is a popular dish of Samtskhe-Javakheti Region in southern Georgia.
Khavitsi is the New Fondue
For the last ten years or so, Tusheti has become one of the most popular destinations for tourists arriving in Georgia.
Georgian cheese bread among world’s top 40 best street foods
Popular American publication, Thisisinsider reveals the best street food in 40 countries around the world. Among them is Khachapuri, a traditional Georgian dish
BBC about Georgian wine - Ark of Taste: Saperavi Grape
One of Georgia’s unique wines, Saperavi, has attracted the attention of BBC,
6 zones of Georgian winemaking and varieties according to regions – Facts all wine-lovers must know
Diverse climatic conditions of Georgia make it a perfect area for developing a high-quality winemaking industry.
10 Best Georgian Wines of autumn
Autumn is the time of one of the main wine events – grape harvest
From khinkali to churchkhela: a guide to Georgian food
Georgian food is earning more and more attention and love internationally.
First Georgian Restaurant to open this fall in Shaw, D.C.
Food news and dining guides for Washington, D.C. Eater DC, reports about opening of the first Georgian restaurant
Georgian tarragon pie and cheese boat featured in The Guardian
A well-known British edition The Guardian publishes an extract from Olia Hercules’s new book,
Adjaruli Khachapuri featured on Tastemade
Popular Georgian staple Adrajuli khachapuri has been spotlighted by world-famous culinary website Tastemade.
Georgian khachapuri named the best cheese pizza by Forbes
Super delicious and worldwide known Georgian national dish Khachapuri is named “the best cheese pizza you’ve ever tasted” by Forbes.com.
The Guardian on  Georgian dumpling from the hills
The most famous Georgian trademark Khinkali (meat dumpling) is earning more and more recognition internationally.
Wine Tea – Brilliant Georgian Innovation
‘Wine Tea’ project is the winner of Startup Georgia state program.
Georgian wine among world’s 10 Best Natural Wines Under $40
Esquire, a well-known American magazine, has named Georgian Tavkveri among the best natural wines in the world.
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.
5 best Georgian semi-sweet wines
Typically, Georgia has always been home to dry wines and this tradition maintained to his day.
Georgian restaurant opens in Amsterdam
Georgian cuisine is spreading all across the world and captivating food enthusiast with is distinctive flavor.
Which Georgian wines combine well with pastry
If you want to combine wine with pastry, you have to know that this is a quite complicated process because dishes that contain dough are not all identical.
First Georgian bar-restaurant opens in Dusseldorf
Three friends from Tbilisi have opened the first Georgian bar-restaurant in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Khachapuri: Skip the Pizza and Make This Cheese-Stuffed Bread Instead
Georgian khachapuri can be considered a real competitor to Italian pizza and here is why.
Top five healthy ingredients found in Georgian Cuisine
Georgian cuisine is often hailed by food writers as one of the most appealing in the world,
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
11.12.2017
12.12.2017
USD
1
USD
2.6794
2.6794
EUR
1
EUR
3.1462
3.1462
GBP
1
GBP
3.6081
3.6081
RUB
100
RUB
4.5141
4.5141
750ml
Kvevri
Zangaura  / 2015
19.90
750ml
White Dry
None  / 2016
18.30
750ml
Red Semi-Sweet
Schuchmann Wines  / 2015
23.95
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Other Stories
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.
All regions of Georgia stand out for their local delicious dishes and they make up the entire Georgian cuisine
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.
Machari in Georgian is the name for new wine, when the pressed grape juice reaches the condition of fermentation. Machari has intensive aroma and sweet taste.
Georgian candy churchkhela, also known as Georgian Snickers, is widely popular with locals and especially with tourists.
The first recipient of the Master of Wine title in Asia and a multi-media wine journalist Debra Meiburg compares Georgian