Georgia: The Culinary Muse of the Caucasus owes a lot to Barbare Jorjadze
25 April, 2019
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. Lauren Collins, the author of the article “The Culinary Muse of the Caucasus” (As Americans look to Georgia for inspiration, Georgians are looking to Barbare Jorjadze) starts talking about Georgia with Khachapuri, the famous Georgian cheese-filled breads. She also describes other Georgian dishes like Lobiani (bean-filled flatbread), khinkali (soup dumplings), chakapuli (a stew of meat and herbs), etc.

Lauren Collins also gives space to Georgian wine and the
traditional method of its production. Georgians make wine through Kvevri, earthenware vessels used for the fermentation, storage, and aging of wine. Georgia boasts about more than five hundred native grape varieties.
barbare_jorjadze
“A couple of years ago, archeologists working at sites south of Tbilisi unearthed shards of pottery that were coated in oenological residue from 6000 B.C. This means that Georgia, probably the world’s oldest winemaking culture, has completed around eight thousand vintages. Almost every family makes wine.”

One of the most interesting parts of the article is about Barbare Jorjadze. Barbare Jorjadze was a daughter of a noble family from the eastern region of Georgia, Kakheti. Barbare began writing in 1858, publishing poetry in the Tsiskari magazine. Despite public criticism, she continued publishing in newspapers and magazines such as Drogba, Iveria, Kvali, and Jejili. She is often called Georgia’s first feminist.

In 1861, she was involved in debates around the modernization of the Georgian language, in particular challenging the ideas of Ilia Chavchavadze. However, until now she has been mainly remembered for another accomplishment – her cookbook. In 1874, Barbare published a cookbook called the “Georgian Cuisine and Tried Housekeeping Notes”.
barbare_jorjadze
The Cookbook is full of recipes for various dishes, not only Georgian but also European, Middle Eastern and Russian specialties. One of the restaurants in Tbilisi which actively uses Barbare's recipes is a restaurant called “Barbarestan” (at Barbare). It continues to provide a genuine understanding of the book’s recipes.

“Her mother died early. She was taught to read by her nanny, a literate peasant. Jorjadze also learned to embroider and to sew. She was a princess, technically. But her father couldn’t raise much of a dowry, and she was married off at the age of twelve to a much older military man.”

Due to Jorjadze’s contribution to the culinary of Georgia, the author concludes: “As Americans look to Georgia for culinary inspiration, Georgians are looking to Barbare Jorjadze.”

Related stories:

Prominent Georgian Female Chef Barbare Jorjadze

The first Georgian scholar woman Barbare Kipiani

Georgian feminists protest against domestic violence

Georgian wine in Tokyo Metro Station – How does Japanese embrace Georgian culture and cuisine?
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