The SRAS Guide to Fermented Milk

Russia and Eurasia offer what can seem to be a bewildering selection of dairy products in their transnational food cultures. An area of special note, and often one of the strangest to Westerners, is the seemingly never-ending assortment of fermented milk drinks in the Russian gastronomic repertoire. To cut down on the brow-furrowing and sometimes […]

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Pkhali – The Healthy Georgian Pâté

Пхали (pkhali; ფხალიin Georgian), made from finely chopped and cooked vegetables mixed with spicy walnut sauce, is one of the most popular traditional Georgian dishes. It is usually garnished with pomegranate seeds and sometimes served alongside eggplant rolls that also feature spicy walnut filling. Almost any vegetable can be used to make пхали, meaning that there […]

Chirbuli: Georgian Breakfast of Eggs, Nuts, and Tradition

Чирбули (Georgian: ჩირბული, English: Chirbuli) is a staple of the Georgian breakfast table, a dish that perfectly encapsulates the local traditions and international influences that have shaped Georgian cuisine. Чирбули features fried eggs served on top of a rich sauce filled with spices, caramelized vegetables, and walnuts. Чирбули is not one of the Georgian dishes whose popularity spread […]

Kharcho: Georgia’s Spicy Beef Stew

For those of us who have had the singular pleasure of being seated behind a hefty bowl of харчо (kharcho), it is hard to describe exactly how delicious this Georgian delicacy really is. It is also, interestingly enough, hard to describe what it actually is, as there is rather heated disagreement about several of the […]

Lobio with Vinegar (Georgian Red Bean Salad)

The following is an excerpt from Лобио, сациви, хачапури, или Грузия со вкусом (Lobio, Satsivi, Khachapuri, or Georgia with Taste) by Tinatin Mzhavanadze, a best-selling cookbook author in Georgia. It has been translated and adapted by Dr. Michael Denner of Stetson University in Florida. Dr. Michael Denner: Lobio (ლობიო) means “beans” (including green or broad beans) […]

The Hardest Languages in Russia Aren’t Russian

According to the All-Russian 2010 census, Russia is inhabited by speakers of more than 150 different languages. Most of these various languages can be divided into four language families: Altai, Indo-European, North Caucasian, and Uralic. The languages of some native populations of Russia amaze international experts with their complexity. Some dialects have similar features, while […]

Guide to Food in Adjara

Georgians take pride in their world-renowned culinary achievements. The wide range of dishes offered in Georgian cooking – which include rich, flavorful meat and vegetable based dishes, as well as pastries, dumplings, soups, and unique salads and side dishes means that nearly everyone can find something to love in this cuisine. Food within Georgia itself […]

Khatchapuri: The Big Georgian Cheese!

Хачапури (khachapuri) is one of the most beloved of the Georgian foods adopted into the Russian tradition. That is a major achievement, as Georgian cuisine is itself one of the most beloved of all those among the former Soviet peoples. It is enjoyed in Russia, throughout the former Soviet space, and around the world. The […]

All About Shashlyk (BBQ from the Caucasus)

Shashlyk is considered to be one of the very first dishes humans invented and most likely hails from the place the first modern human likely appeared – the area covering Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and the Caucasus. Почему он так называется? The word “шашлык” was adopted into Russian in the 18th century. It may have come […]

The SRAS Guide to Fermented Milk

Russia and Eurasia offer what can seem to be a bewildering selection of dairy products in their transnational food cultures. An area of special note, and often one of the strangest to Westerners, is the seemingly never-ending assortment of fermented milk drinks in the Russian gastronomic repertoire. To cut down on the brow-furrowing and sometimes […]

Adzhika: The Hot Relish of the Caucasus

Adzhika is a spicy sauce. It is sometimes a thick red or green paste and sometimes more of a salsa or ketchup-like substance. Generally, thicker versions will be hotter and often considered more authentic. Аджика (adzhika) is an aromatic and spicy sauce native to the Caucasus that is popular throughout Russia and the former USSR. […]

Mchadi: The Other Georgia’s Corn Bread

Dr. Michael Denner: It would be difficult to imagine Georgia without maize, what Americans call corn, though of course corn came from South America, and could only have been introduced to Georgia after Columbus brought it back from the New World… so in the sixteenth century at the earliest. My friend and cookbook collaborator Tina […]

Nadugi: Never Too Much (Georgian) Cheese

Dr. Michael Denner: You can tell a lot about a cuisine and culture by the way they eat their milk… That’s the point I tried to make in our latest Georgian Cooking Club meeting, waving about a gallon of milk, sheathed in its translucent plastic carapace. My students were confused at first… Milk. I think […]

Tkemali: Georgian Sour Plum Sauce

Dr. Michael Denner (notes from the American Test Kitchen): Georgians jokingly refer to tkemali (more accurately written t’q’emali) as “Georgian ketchup.” It gets poured on practically everything. I don’t know of another sauce like it: sour, fruity, salty, with a serious herbal punch and a bit of lingering heat. Maybe it looks like Mexican salsa […]

Satsivi: Georgian Poultry in Nut Sauce

Dr. Michael Denner: For a lot of Georgians, satsivi is… the essence of Georgian home cooking. It is intensely nostalgic, served as the main dish for celebrating the new year, at home, with friends and family gathered around the banquet table, the supra. SRAS: Dr. Michael Denner is a professor at Stetson’s Program in Russian, East […]

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