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Discover Twists on Middle Eastern Flavor in Georgia

Explore a Mixture of Asian, Middle Eastern + European Tastes

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Article by Latifah Al-Hazzá

What Cooking, Georgia? was originally published on The Al-Hazzá Adventures

Located in the middle of ancient trade routes that linked the East and the West, Georgia's cuisine embodies a mixture Asian, Middle Eastern and European tastes. Though Georgia's dumplings may look similar to those of Shanghai, their bread may resemble the puffy deliciousness found in India (naan) and the ingredients in their dipping concoctions are much like those in the Middle East, Georgian cuisine has its own unique flavors and twists to the foods that you once thought you knew.
 
Cuisines that you cannot leave Georgia without trying:

Khachapuri

Competing to become Georgia's national dish, khachapuri is a fluffy bread filled with a variety of cheeses, vegetables, meats or legumes. The yummy canoe looking dish can be found anywhere from hole-in-the-wall bakeries to fancy traditional restaurants. 

My Deliciousness Rating: 10/10 (I love bread)

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Churchkhela

These unusual looking sweets can be found dangling on every corner in Georgia and will leave you so curious to try one. The lumpy, long and colorful confections are hanging from just about every window and are often mistaken for sausages. Not to worry, they aren't just pieces of meat dangling in the open, they're walnuts on a strand with sugar and concentrated grape juice poured on top. They're left to dry for a couple of days until they turn waxy looking. 

My Deliciousness Rating: 5/10 (A little too sweet for me)

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Khinkali

Khinkali is a Georgian soup dumpling. Eating a dumpling can be difficult, so let me break it down for you. Khinkali is a finger food. Grab the dumpling by its topknot. Bite a hole into the side of the dumpling and slurp the broth out. Eat the dumpling. They say to discard the topknot, but, if you're a dough fan (me) feel free to devour it as well. 

My Deliciousness Rating: 10/10 (Try any of the vegetable options, especially spinach or potatoes)

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Tasting Platter

If the opportunity ever arises to try a tasting platter while in Georgia, I'd say definitely go for it! Each platter will have something different, but most hot platters contain chicken with garlic sauce, steamed mushrooms, kidney beans, steamed beef with walnuts, veal stew, sulguni cheese, gomi (cornmeal with cheese and butter), corn pie and bread. 

My Deliciousness Rating: 9/10

**Try these foods in Tbilisi and Kazbegi.

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Follow Latifah Al-Hazzá @tifahhhh

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