Tasting Georgia by Carla Capalbo

Award-winning food writer and photographer Capalbo has traveled Georgia collecting recipes and gathering stories from food and winemakers. She brings this stunning but little-known country to life in Tasting Georgia: A Food and Wine Journey in the Caucasus. This title won the prestigious André Simon Award as well as a nomination for an IACP cookbook award.

The beautifully illustrated book is both a cookbook and a cultural guide to the personal, artisan-made foods and wines that make Georgia such a special place on the world's gastronomic map. Georgian cuisine is unique, but also carries some influences from other European and nearby Middle Eastern culinary traditions. Each historical province of Georgia is distinct but with variations from Megrelian, Kakhetian, and Imeretian cuisines.

Nestled between the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea, and with a climate similar to the Mediterranean's, Georgia has colorful, delicious food. Vegetables blended with walnuts and vibrant herbs, subtly spiced meat stews and home-baked pies like the irresistible cheese-filled khachapuri are served at generous tables all over the country which is known for its supra. A supra is a traditional Georgian feast and an important part of their social culture where food, wine and music come together. There are two types of supra: a festive supra, called a keipi, and a somber supra, called a kelekhi, that is always held after burials.

Georgia is also one of the world's oldest winemaking areas, with wines traditionally made in qvevri: large clay jars buried in the ground.

When I met Carla at the IACP awards, she shared a photograph of the qvevri (image to the right) that is also featured in the book. We spoke briefly and she mentioned that it was through her love of wine (and food) that she became fascinated by Georgia's cuisine and wine making.

Tasting Georgia digs deep into the history, cuisine, wine and people of this beautiful country. I started reading these stories and find myself lost in the experience.

There are 65 recipes here that are simple and approachable. Spicy ribs from the Diaroni restaurant that can be made with veal or pork ribs, Chicken and walnut stew that has a creamy appearance which comes from the walnuts, and Cheesy cornbread which is a great addition to the supra table are examples of the variety of dishes. While the recipes are compelling, the history and photographic journey through Georgia is enough to curb my wanderlust.

Special thanks to Interlink and Pallas Athene Publishers for sharing a recipe with our members and for offering copies of this book in our contest below.

 

Chicken with pomegranate juice / katami brotseulit
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"My mother used to make this without browning the chicken first, but I prefer the rich flavour you get from the chicken's browning juices," says Meriko. "Georgian pomegranates are both sweet and sour, and have good tannic structure and acidity, so if yours taste too sweet, add a firm squeeze of lemon to the dish to bring back its zest. The origins of this dish are Jewish, and it's very easy to make."

Serves 6

Preparation 15 minutes

Cook 45 minutes

1 kg / 2 lb chicken pieces, with some skin left on
flour for dredging
3 tbsp sunflower oil
200 g / 7 oz / 1½ cups chopped onion 1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
½ tsp dried summer savory or mild thyme, or 1 tsp fresh
2 bay leaves
240 ml / 8 fl oz / 1 cup water
360 ml / 12 fl oz / 1½ cups fresh pomegranate juice
the seeds of 1 pomegranate
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Dredge the chicken pieces lightly in flour, shaking off any excess. Heat the oil in a sauté pan large enough to fit all the chicken in one layer. Brown the chicken on all sides over medium heat, turning once or twice, about 12-15 minutes.

Stir in the onion and cook with the chicken for 5 minutes or until the onion starts to soften. Add the coriander seeds, herbs, water and half of the pomegranate juice, stirring well. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes, turning the chicken occasionally, until the juice runs clear when a knife is inserted in the thickest part of the chicken.

Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining pomegranate juice. Check the seasoning. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and a few leaves of fresh thyme before serving.

Recipe from Tasting Georgia© Carla Capalbo 2017 Interlink Publishing 

 

 

The publishers are offering four copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and UK (two for each region). One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on April 30th, 2018.

96 Comments

  • WCchopper  on  3/20/2018 at 4:57 PM

    I'm crazy about khachapuri so I'd love to try the cheese filling!

  • Kitty_and_Whit  on  3/20/2018 at 5:27 PM

    Leeks with walnut paste (Prasi) looks delicious, and we love leeks, definitely would try that right away!

  • jmay42066  on  3/20/2018 at 6:05 PM

    Meskhetian khachapuri

  • jezpurr  on  3/20/2018 at 6:08 PM

    Cold chicken with spiced walnut sauce (Satsivi)!!!^_^

  • ravensfan  on  3/20/2018 at 6:40 PM

    Beef and chickpea stew (Chashushuli)

  • kitchen_chick  on  3/20/2018 at 7:19 PM

    Backcombed" aubergines/eggplant (Achechili badrijani)

  • thecharlah  on  3/20/2018 at 8:01 PM

    Aubergine/eggplant ajapsandali (Ajapsandali)

  • amyz218  on  3/20/2018 at 9:30 PM

    Duck with Blackberry Sauce sounds phenomenal!

  • heyjude  on  3/21/2018 at 12:12 AM

    Tarragon and Egg Pie

  • DarcyVaughn  on  3/21/2018 at 12:48 AM

    Beans with walnuts and spices (Lobio)

  • Naoph  on  3/21/2018 at 5:18 AM

    Cheese and potato bread (Khabizgina)

  • centraljersey  on  3/21/2018 at 5:42 AM

    Any of the eggplant recipes.

  • sarahawker  on  3/21/2018 at 7:56 AM

    Grilled meatballs (Kababi)

  • robynsanyal  on  3/21/2018 at 9:36 AM

    Tarragon and egg pie (Tarkhunis ghvezeli)

  • kmn4  on  3/21/2018 at 11:17 AM

    Beef and chickpea stew (Chashushuli)

  • lisaevanoff  on  3/21/2018 at 11:22 AM

    Grilled meatballs (Kababi)

  • sipa  on  3/21/2018 at 11:25 AM

    I have always wanted to try Chicken with pomegranate juice so thank you for posting it.

  • monique.potel  on  3/21/2018 at 12:22 PM

    Leeks with walnut paste (Prasi) i love leeks i woud really enjoy finding a new way to accommodate them

  • infotrop  on  3/21/2018 at 12:27 PM

    Meskhetian khachapuri ... the ingredients make it sound divine...just need to learn how to pronounce it.

  • EmilyR  on  3/21/2018 at 3:10 PM

    Tushetian potato and cheese khinkali

  • Lem9579  on  3/21/2018 at 6:29 PM

    Wilted purslane salad

  • prendy2uk  on  3/21/2018 at 6:51 PM

    Cheese and potato bread

  • MusicCityMissy  on  3/21/2018 at 6:52 PM

    I am dying to try the spiced meat bread but also the two cornbreads and all the different filled breads - I used to get these at a local European restaurant that closed and I miss them all!

  • tori7646  on  3/21/2018 at 9:19 PM

    Duck with blackberry sauce (ikhavi maqvlit)

  • lapsapchung  on  3/22/2018 at 2:35 AM

    Lamb chakapuli

  • compstruck  on  3/22/2018 at 2:46 AM

    The cheese and potato bread sounds wonderful

  • amandabeck  on  3/22/2018 at 5:40 AM

    oooh la la! I just got back from a trip to Georgia and would love to see if the eggplant/walnut paste listed in this index are similar to what I ate while I was there. I'd love to try the lobio recipe as well, and the khinkhali, kchachapuri....Georgian food is so underrated!

  • bopper  on  3/22/2018 at 7:17 AM

    katami brotseulit - as it looks so tasty and "within my range"!

  • sgump  on  3/22/2018 at 11:26 AM

    The beef and chickpea stew (chashushuli) looks straightforward and--with that veritable herb garden of finishing ingredients (parsley, mint, dill)--delicious!

  • Jen.oc  on  3/22/2018 at 4:12 PM

    Love the look of the cheese and potato bread

  • lselke  on  3/23/2018 at 12:46 AM

    It's got to be the chicken with pomegranate juice. Runner-up: the spicy ribs, because I want to see how the mayonnaise works in the dish.

  • Siegal  on  3/23/2018 at 10:01 AM

    Cheese and potato bread sounds great

  • mpdeb98  on  3/24/2018 at 9:03 AM

    Adjarian khachapuri

  • leilx  on  3/24/2018 at 9:34 AM

    Leeks with walnut paste

  • JenJoLa  on  3/24/2018 at 3:47 PM

    Pumpkin with walnuts (Gogra nigvzit)

  • Karla123  on  3/24/2018 at 6:43 PM

    Herbed oyster mushrooms...an easy and flavorful side dish that I know I would love.

  • choppergirl  on  3/25/2018 at 7:57 AM

    Spicy ribs (Tskhare neknebi)

  • RSW  on  3/25/2018 at 7:08 PM

    Pumpkin with walnuts (Gogra nigvzit)

  • ket06e  on  3/26/2018 at 7:20 AM

    Ajapsandali

  • Uhmandanicole  on  3/26/2018 at 8:29 AM

    Chilled yogurt soup (Matsvnis shechamandi)

  • LaurenE  on  3/26/2018 at 4:45 PM

    Tarragon and Egg Pie

  • Lizwizz  on  3/26/2018 at 5:33 PM

    Beef and chickpea stew

  • Ishtar  on  3/27/2018 at 9:07 AM

    Grilled chicken with garlic sauce

  • Scotsman61  on  3/28/2018 at 9:57 PM

    Duck with Blackberry Sauce

  • AnnaZed  on  3/28/2018 at 10:43 PM

    The master dough recipe 2 (yogurt and baking soda)

  • t.t  on  3/29/2018 at 2:26 AM

    Aubergine/eggplant family style (Badrijani ojakhuri)

  • fbrunetti  on  3/30/2018 at 12:31 PM

    Tarragon and egg pie

  • Dannausc  on  3/30/2018 at 5:52 PM

    Green beans with eggs (Mtsvane lobio)

  • TrishaCP  on  3/30/2018 at 6:02 PM

    This book is stunning.

  • HelenB  on  3/31/2018 at 10:01 PM

    Walnut paste

  • clairew137  on  4/1/2018 at 4:46 AM

    Meskhetian khachapuri

  • amyjay  on  4/1/2018 at 2:09 PM

    Cheese and potato bread!

  • Laura1  on  4/1/2018 at 6:45 PM

    Eggplant ajapsandali

  • Jenamarie  on  4/2/2018 at 9:12 AM

    Green beans with eggs (Mtsvane lobio)

  • Holisticrmp  on  4/2/2018 at 11:31 AM

    Beef and tomato stew

  • sdg8trgrl  on  4/2/2018 at 5:46 PM

    Tushetian pancakes

  • amferrer  on  4/3/2018 at 2:44 PM

    The Master Dough!

  • ChefTamiMitchell  on  4/4/2018 at 5:17 AM

    The beef and tomato stew

  • rchesser  on  4/6/2018 at 1:14 PM

    Cheese and potato bread

  • zeeenie  on  4/7/2018 at 10:07 AM

    Cheese and potato bread

  • ktwalla  on  4/7/2018 at 7:58 PM

    Tarragon & Egg Pie

  • Alanr  on  4/7/2018 at 8:35 PM

    Duck with blackberry sauce (Ikhvi maqvlit). A slightly unusual twist on the duck-with-fruit theme, and frozen blackberries are always available if I have to wait for the "real" thing.

  • featherbooks  on  4/7/2018 at 11:41 PM

  • featherbooks  on  4/7/2018 at 11:43 PM

    Lamb Chakapuli

  • Curlyfatkins  on  4/8/2018 at 4:49 AM

    Tushetian pancakes (Machkatebi) sound good

  • jc214a  on  4/8/2018 at 7:54 AM

    Cheese and Potato Bread.

  • RickPearson54  on  4/8/2018 at 9:40 AM

    walnut paste

  • sequoia55  on  4/8/2018 at 12:54 PM

    Tushetian pancakes

  • Teruska  on  4/8/2018 at 3:49 PM

    The chicken with pomegranate juice is interesting but I would have to start with the Spicy Ribs with ajika paste.

  • Agatha  on  4/9/2018 at 1:41 AM

    Tarragon and Egg Pie

  • Waderu  on  4/11/2018 at 4:47 PM

    chicken with pomegranate juice

  • shellee  on  4/15/2018 at 8:19 AM

    I fancy the punpkin with walnuts :)

  • rachael_mc  on  4/15/2018 at 6:43 PM

    Lamb chakapuli (Batknis chakapuli)

  • nesshawk  on  4/16/2018 at 8:05 PM

    Grilled Meatballs - Kababi

  • Rachaels21  on  4/17/2018 at 7:04 AM

    The pumpkin and walnuts yummy 💚

  • Julia  on  4/17/2018 at 4:19 PM

    Beef and tomato stew

  • VeryVigario  on  4/17/2018 at 10:49 PM

    Beef and tomato stew- a favorite combo of mine :)

  • cake17uk  on  4/18/2018 at 4:06 PM

    Baked layered pasta (Achma)

  • orchidlady01  on  4/21/2018 at 4:09 AM

    Small potato khinkali dumplings (Kartopilis khinkali)

  • littleminxgirl  on  4/23/2018 at 6:51 AM

    I love cheese breads and potato bread, so a bread that combines both sounds devine

  • sheridarby  on  4/23/2018 at 3:21 PM

    Cheese and potato bread

  • PaulaCheadle  on  4/24/2018 at 6:52 AM

    Cheese and potato bread

  • jessiecomp  on  4/24/2018 at 1:10 PM

    The herbed oyster mushrooms! They sound incredible!

  • MumofMags  on  4/25/2018 at 2:21 AM

    Duck with blackberry sauce - yum

  • Vecta2  on  4/25/2018 at 5:56 AM

    Cheese and potato bread (Khabizgina)

  • Anastasiou1234  on  4/25/2018 at 6:04 AM

    duck and blackberry sauce sounds lush

  • saragoodman  on  4/25/2018 at 7:06 AM

    The Beef and chickpea stew (Chashushuli), it sounds amazing!

  • deanfromuk  on  4/25/2018 at 2:05 PM

    I would go for Lamb chakapuli , lamb is one of my fave meats and I dont eat it enough!

  • MammaGoRound  on  4/25/2018 at 3:20 PM

    I would love to try the Duck with Blackberry Sauce.

  • ruthwollerton  on  4/25/2018 at 4:03 PM

    I am .... QUACKERS .... over the Duck with blackberry sauce, it sounds yummytastic xxx

  • Poppyjoey  on  4/25/2018 at 4:42 PM

    Spicy Ribs ... are always appealing....

  • DimensionAEB  on  4/25/2018 at 8:33 PM

    The Cheese and potato bread sounds great!

  • Radley  on  4/26/2018 at 7:10 AM

    Tushetian pancakes

  • Katiefayhutson  on  4/27/2018 at 8:55 PM

    Pumpkin with walnuts

  • MiMi60  on  4/28/2018 at 10:06 PM

    Cheese and potato bread (Khabizgina)

  • marsmomma  on  4/29/2018 at 11:14 AM

    Aubergine/eggplant ajapsandali (Ajapsandali)

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