Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Georgian Cuisine: Cheeses

Lets talk about Georgian cheeses, shall we? Georgians eat a lot of cheese and each region has its own specialties. Some popular cheeses are Sulguni, Imeruli, Guda, braided cheese, smoked cheese, etc. Generally, the most popular cheeses are made from fresh cow's milk. Below are images from the market in Batumi, Georgia, showing different types of cheeses.

There are also many dishes that use cheese in Georgian cuisine. One of the most popular dish is Ajaruli khachapuri, which is a pizza-like dough shaped like a boat, filled with cheese, and topped with butter and an egg (if you'd like). You can eat this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It's also good with beer, but I prefer it with hot tea. Another popular dish is imeruli khachapuri, which is a flat-bread stuffed with cheese. This is easier to make at home than Ajaruli khachapuri.

Most people who live in the village and have cows make their own cheese from the fresh cow's milk. In the image below you can see Brian learning how to make cheese on the stove, later used to make  khachapuri.

Another popular dish that uses cheese is Gomi. This is Georgian grits ;-) and can be eaten in many ways, including with the addition of cheese while it's still hot so that cheese softens, or by with the addition of baje, a walnut sauce, shown in the image below.

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