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5 Delicious Dishes Worth Traveling to Georgia

22 Mar 2022

When visiting a new country, trying the local food is usually high on the agenda with Georgian food being no different. From Khinkali to Kachapuri to even a assorted Pkhali there is endless choices to try and devour!

We’ve rounded up our 5 favorite Georgian foods for you to try when you visit Georgia.

1. One and only Khinkali

There’s no better way to explore Georgia than with Khinkali, which is one of the most popular dishes in Georgian cuisine and considered to be a national dish.

Khinkali originated from the mountain regions of Pshavi, Mtiuleti, Tusheti, and Khevsureti but it’s now widely consumed throughout Georgia. They’re a popular Georgian comfort food and often served towards the end of feast “Supra”.

Khinkali refers to Georgian meat-filled soup dumplings made with knobs of dough filled with a mixture of pork and beef (or lamb). They can be made with other fillings as well like vegetables, mashed potatoes, mushrooms, and cheese, but the most common versions are stuffed with spiced ground meat.

To eat, the dumpling is sprinkled with black pepper and then picked up by its stem by hand. The diner takes a small bite from the side of the top to suck out the hot broth before digging into the filling.

2. Pkhali

Pkhali refers to a family of Georgian appetizers made with any type of cooked vegetable mixed with ground walnuts, garlic, herbs, and spices. Commonly served at Georgian restaurants, it’s like a type of cold vegetable pate or spread that’s traditionally eaten with Georgian griddled corn cakes called mchadi.

Pkhali can be made with different types of vegetables like spinach, beetroot, white beans, cabbage, eggplant, carrots, or squash. They take the color of whatever vegetable they’re made with so they can range in appearance from a pale orange to a deep green to an intense purple. Typically shaped into balls, they’re often garnished with pomegranate seeds and served as the first course at supras.

3.Khachapuri

Kachapuri is one of the most beloved Georgian foods. Like Khinkali, it’s a popular comfort food and widely considered to be a Georgian national dish.

Khachapuri refers to a traditional Georgian dish consisting of cheese-filled bread. The bread can be shaped in various ways, typically with the cheese in the middle and a surrounding crust that can be broken off and dipped into the cheese. Aside from a specialized Khachapuri cheese, the filling can contain eggs and other ingredients as well.

This beloved cheese bread is widely available throughout Georgia, both at Georgian restaurants and as street food. It exists in many shapes and variations.

4. Ajapsandali

Ajapsandali refers to a traditional Georgian vegetable dish made with different stewed vegetables like eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, green peppers, and bell peppers. They’re stewed till tender with seasonings like garlic, dry coriander, ground red pepper, black pepper, and salt.

Ajapsandali is typically consumed as part of a Georgian family meal. You can think of it as the Georgian version of ratatouille. 

5. Lobio&Mchadi

Lobio refers to a popular Georgian bean soup or stew made with kidney beans. It exists in many varieties and can be prepared with cooked or stewed beans flavored with herbs and spices like coriander, garlic, onions, bay leaves, and blue fenugreek. Depending on the version, it can be served hot or cold and is typically eaten with mchadi or Georgian cornbread.

One of the most common types of lobio in Georgia is a cold version called lobio nigozit (bean with walnut). It’s typically made with cooked red kidney beans that are mashed with garlic, onions, walnuts, coriander, chili pepper, marigold petals, and vinegar. Hot versions of lobio may contain meat and are often served in a clay pot with mchadi.

Activities to do in Autumn in Georgia

  • Explore Tbilisi on foot
  • Attend "Rtveli" in Kakheti
  • Drive through the mountains
  • Enjoy velvet season on the black sea

Autumn in Tbilisi is short but pronounced. The trees along the riverside and in the city’s parks turn shades of bronze and chestnut, while the hills take on a honey-colored glow. This is the perfect time to get out and explore on foot.

In early fall, there are numerous outdoor events – markets, live music performances, and the like – happening almost every weekend. Add to that special festival, seasonal produce, and the Rtveli wine harvest, and there’s no doubt in my mind these are Tbilisi’s golden days.

Mountains are beautiful anytime, and we always remind you of multiple shades of green, as you travel there in summer, but autumn slowly brings more and more colors into this palette. Traditional purple and gold are just a few of them!

Batumi and the beaches along Georgia’s Black Sea coast reach peak levels in July and August, however, there is a short window where the crowds disperse and the conditions are still ideal for sunbathing and swimming. Locals call it the ‘Velvet Season’. 

The skies are blue and the water is warm in the middle and end of September. This is the most humid month of the year in western Georgia, so swimming is a welcome reprieve.

Autumn – grape harvesting season

Autumn in Georgia means one thing: Harvest time. Rtveli, AKA Georgia’s ‘fifth season, is the most festive, joyous time of the year in the country. Rtveli is a celebration in Georgia that celebrates the harvesting of wine and is considered one of the most critical events in the fall. It begins at the end of September and continues until around the middle of October.

Rtveli is a custom that dates back to ancient times and has been passed down through generations. This is when vintners reap the fruits of their labor and families head to their ancestral vineyards to collect grapes, top up their Qvevri, eat and toast, and enjoy the last days of summer sunshine.

Tbilisoba – the biggest event in Autumn

Tbilisoba is the biggest event on Georgia’s cultural calendar. This traditional ‘ day of’ festival is held in villages and mountain regions across the country throughout the summer months. In October, it’s Tbilisi’s turn!

Tbilisoba is a massive two-day event that celebrates the capital’s diversity and Georgian identity and heritage in general. People from the regions descend on Rike Park for a Gastronomic Festival, showcasing their best autumn produce, wine, and regional food specialties. Handicrafts such as feltwork and pottery are sold at pop-up markets.

Where to see autumn foliage in Georgia:

  • Sabaduri Forest & Tbilisi National Park
  • Ateni Gorge (near Gori)
  • Gombori Pass (between Tbilisi and Telavi)
  • Tsalka & Dashbashi Canyon (and the entire
  • Kvemo Kartli region)
  • Borjomi National Park (best from the end of October)
  • Shaori Lake & Racha (from the end of September in Upper Racha)
  • Bateti Lake
  • Lagodekhi National Park
  • Martvili & upper Samegrelo

Weather in Autumn in Georgia

A short answer to the question: “What is the weather like in Georgia country in autumn?” will be this: “Different”

Georgia is a small country, but extremely diverse in terms of relief and climate. In any season, especially in the off-season, the weather in one region differs dramatically from another one. It all depends on the relief, elevation, the presence of reservoirs in the area, wind, and dozens of other factors.

Also, don’t forget that Georgia is also a mountainous country. Although it is small, the climate varies greatly depending on where you are. The Caucasian ridge provides mild, comfortable weather throughout the country with often cold and snowy Novembers in the mountains.

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