From tasty salads to gooey, calorific but oh so delicious cheesy breads and tasty aubergine starters, Georgian is a interesting mix of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Central Asian flavours and one of the most unique cuisines out there. Helen Youngman, our resident foodie travelled there this month and went on a mission to hunt out the country's best home cooked delicacies and street food.
Did you know Georgia is the birthplace of wine and it is home to more species of indigenous grapes than any other country in the world? Wine is a really important part of culture and hospitality. The Saperavi grape is believed to the best grape for wine production so keep your eyes peeled for this variety!
These popular sweets are made from strings of nuts dipped in solidified grape juice and sugar - they're commonly knows as Georgian snickers bars! They were once fed to soldiers during war time for energy but are now popular Christmas and New Year desserts.
3. BADRIJANI NIGVZIT
These delicious aubergine and walnut rolls are bound to be a highlight on any trip to Georgia.
4. SOKO KECZE
Mushrooms baked in a clay "ketsi" dish with butter, cheese and black pepper.
5. CLASSIC GEORGIAN SALAD
The salads in Georgia are to die for. This classic salad is served as a starter with bread with most meals. Simple but delicious!
Tolma, AKA dolma in Turkey, Armenia and the Middle East or Dolmades in Greece are stuffed vine or cabbage leaves. Some foodie historians believe this dish originated in Egypt and then made its way to Georgia during the Ottoman empire. This was a real favourite with the vegetarians on my trip.
Ostri is a mildly spiced dish of beef, mushrooms and herbs baked in a clay pot. It's a hard dish to find but well worth scouting out at local restaurants. The combination of spices and herbs is really unique and bursts with flavour.
Khachapuri AKA cheesy bread is found on every street corner and most restaurants. It's pretty much a heart attack on a plate but worth every calorie...
9. GEORGIAN COFFEE
Georgian Coffee is served after most meals as a breather between wine pouring and consuming! Tbilisi has a growing cafe culture with quirky coffee shops cropping up all over town. It's always served as a Turkish coffee "black as hell, strong as death and as sweet as love"
Khinkali dumplings are a specialty in the Caucasus. They come in different varieties including spicy meat, cheese and potato and mushroom. If you want to eat like a local then you must suck the juice out of the dumpling first (trying not to spill it down yourself!) and then eat everything apart from the top of the dumpling (the kudi). The tops are left on your plate so other guests can see how many you've eaten!
Yes, don't expect to lose weight on a trip to Georgia!