CUISINES OF MESKHETI AND KARTLI

CUISINES OF MESKHETI AND KARTLI

Information

Duraition: 3 Nights / 4 Days
Price: 0 USD / per person

Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli (Lower Kartli) are located in the Lesser
Caucasus mountain range. Elsewhere in southern Georgia the soil is of volcanic origin
with semi-volcanic lakes scattered in the valleys. The cuisine, not unexpectedly, is just
as different. Kartlian cuisine is dominated by vegetables and soups, Meskheti is famous
for its breads and cheeses.

Places to visit
Tsalka is an administrative centre on the bank of the river Khrami, 1460 m above sea
level. The Tsalka plateau is a favourite bird watching site and the grasslands support
beekeeping as well. In 1930 tumuli from the Trialeti culture (second millennium BC)
were discovered. The windswept beauty of the landscape is striking.
The town of Akhaltsikhe looks up at the medieval castle complex of Rabati. Nearby is
an 18th-century mosque. The town’s history is marked by Mongol, Ottoman, and
Russian occupations.
Zarzma Monastery Zarzma comprises a series of buildings which are dominated by a
domed church and one of the largest bell towers in Georgia. The earliest church on the
site was probably built in the 8th or 9th century. An active monastic community lives
here today.
Sapara Monastery The monastery goes back at least as far as the 9th century. St
Saba is the largest of the 12 churches in the complex. The 14th-century frescoes inside
are of high quality.

Dishes to savour
The Kartli region is famous for its soup and vegetable dishes. The region yields
abundant fruit which is used fresh, or dried for winter use.
cornelian cherry sauce A purée of cornels (Cornus Mas) mixed with herbs and spices
gholos Sorrel soup has a fresh acidic taste. It is prepared with whey and blended with
egg and butter.
chakapuli A dish of lamb or veal stewed in white wine with liberal amounts of herbs
and green sour plum. Chakapuli is often made in spring or served on church holidays .
The diversity of Meskheti cuisine reflects its history. Meskhetians have preserved many
of their national dishes but have also incorporated elements form occupying powers
such as the Turks. The region is well-known for its wheat. You can see, smell and taste
the results of thousands of years of bread and cheese making.
meskhuri puri bread baked on the walls of a brick oven
duck dish Dried, salted duck is heated to render its fat. Onion and egg are added to
the broth.
meskhuri khinkali a wheat flour dumpling stuffed with duck
apokhti this is khinkali made with chunks of beef or pork that were dried for keeping.
tatarboragi boiled dough with onions fried in butter.
lukhum a sweet fried in butter and covered with honey.
Meskhetian mushrooms are tasty and famous. They are fried in butter with spices.
milk korkoti wheat groats boiled in milk

Wine
UNESCO has added the ancient traditional Georgian winemaking method using kvevri
(clay jars) to the Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
White wines from Chinuri and Goruli Mtsvane grapes, and red Tavkveri.

Itinerary

Day 1: Tour to Tsalka, master class in Adjarian cuisine and sampling, wine degustation,
overnight in Akhaltsikhe

Day 2: Excursion to Akhaltsikhe, visit Rabati castle complex, Sapara and Zarzma
monasteries, overnight in Akhaltsikhe

Day 3: Master class in Meskhetian cuisine, sampling, free time, overnight in Akhaltsikhe

Day 4: Departure from Akhaltsikhe, degustation of mineral water in Borjomi, end of tour

Note: Price depends on type of accommodation and number of persons.

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