Side Dishes/Appetizers

Khachapuri-Georgia

Khachapuri recipe

Okay let’s get something straight first. While many of you may know Georgia the state, did you also know that there is a country named Georgia? Yes, that’s right…a country that’s located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe and has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Era. Joseph Stalin, the ruthless dictator of the Soviet Union was also an ethnic Georgian. But in short, the Georgia of the Caucasus region of Eurasia has no relation whatsoever to the “Peach State.”

I’ve always been fascinated by the many countries that comprised the former Soviet Union, especially those that had just as many ties to Asia as they did to Europe since their history, culture, and especially cuisines were so drastically different from anything you would find west of St. Petersburg. In her memoir, Mastering the Art of Soviet CookingAnya Von Bremzen does a wonderful job of explaining the significance of what it meant to have countries like Georgia and Uzbekistan being part of the Soviet Union…from a culinary perspective that is (i.e. people in Moscow could try exotic fruits and vegetables along with other foods they had never encountered before).

If I ever had oodles of time and more importantly, unlimited funds, Georgia is a country I would very much like to visit (along with Bulgaria for some random reason). The pictures I’ve seen of the centuries-old Orthodox churches there look amazing and the landscapes so drastically different from anything you would see in Western Europe (remember, sadly I’ve never been “East” of Italy which is pretty silly I know). I’m also pretty sure the food would be amazing too. Generally the cuisines of those countries people know very little about are often the ones that end up blowing them away from a tasting standpoint.

I don’t remember when I first heard about khachapuri, but when I learned that it was basically Georgian-style pizza (it’s also known as Georgian cheese bread), I was immediately intrigued. I love nothing more than trying out variations of foods I’m familiar with from other countries. And pizza is certainly one of them (Argentine-style pizza I don’t necessarily recommend).

Khachapuri recipe

While it does take some additional time, I really don’t mind working with yeast and the khachapuri I made last month is now the second time this year that I’ve made homemade bread (the other occasion was the delicious focaccia I whipped up which you can access the recipe for by clicking here). There is truly nothing better than the taste of homemade bread (the smell of it baking isn’t half bad either).

Khachapuri recipe Khachapuri recipe

I found a pretty simple recipe for khachapuri over on epicurious which you can get to by clicking here. While sure, I wasn’t able to have my dough perfectly fill every inch of the pizza pan, and I couldn’t get all the cheese 100% evenly distributed from the center’s topknot to the other areas of the dough, it still came out pretty amazing I think and tasted even better. This is a recipe I would highly recommend you to try. Remember, patience and a positive attitude are the keys to successful bread making.

IMG_0582 Khachapuri recipe

Is khachapuri something you’d like to try? Making it? Eating it? Or both?

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    John Mayson
    April 9, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Strangely even during the Cold War I wanted to visit Bulgaria. It does seem rather random, but darn it, I want to visit! 🙂

    • Reply
      Julie
      April 12, 2015 at 7:58 am

      Thanks for commenting John! Sometimes those random country yearnings make the best visits I feel 🙂 The pictures I’ve seen of it look fantastic though.

  • Reply
    Traveolani
    April 10, 2015 at 12:42 am

    Hi Julie,
    When I started reading the post I was going to write that a friend of mine visited Georgia last year and I really liked it from his pictures. They have some amazing monasteries built in the rocks.
    But then I read that you want to visit Bulgaria, and me being born and raised there, got excited. You definitely should – let me know if you need some information about what to visit or practical information about traveling within the country! Bulgaria is a country with 1,300 years of history and beautiful nature and sometimes I feel because it was a part of the Eastern Bloc it is overlooked by the western tourists.
    Take a look at this blog in English that another Bulgarian girl writes – there is a lot of useful information for Bulgaria there: http://www.adventureflair.com/
    Traveolani recently posted…Puerto Rico – The Island of Enchantment – part 1My Profile

    • Reply
      Julie
      April 12, 2015 at 8:03 am

      How cool you are from Bulgaria! I’ve always been enchanted by pictures I’ve seen of the gorgeous Orthodox cathedrals, I just love the “onion domes.” You can be sure I will definitely be contacting you should a trip to Bulgaria come about 🙂 I definitely agree that it seems to be overlooked by many Western tourists which is a shame bc as you said it has so much to offer! And thanks for including that link!

  • Reply
    Emma
    April 11, 2015 at 4:54 am

    That looks so yum! I really want to visit Georgia as well – a good friend of mine and my fiances is from there, and he always brings us back nice Georgian wine from when he goes home, so that definitely helps in our opinion of the country!
    Emma recently posted…Parasailing Lake TaupoMy Profile

    • Reply
      Julie
      April 12, 2015 at 8:04 am

      It was absolutely delicious Emma! And also quite easy to replicate at home 🙂 I’ve heard that Georgian wine is quite tasty, how neat that you have those “inside” connections and are able to have some quite often!

  • Reply
    Conor
    April 20, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Hey Julie!
    Georgian food is to die for! You must go when you a chance – I’m sure you’ll love it! There’s actually a few variations of khachapuri, including the Batumi style with loads of egg and butter also, a cardiac arrest waiting to happen 🙂
    Lobiani is another Georgian delight, it’s something I never heard of before but when I had it…well, hopefully someday I’ll be able to replicate it in the kitchen! Safe Travels!
    Conor recently posted…Tbilisi – Batumi Night TrainMy Profile

    • Reply
      Julie
      April 24, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks for commenting Conor! From all that I’ve read of it, it sounds like a truly delicious cuisine! Now if only some small little Georgian hole in the wall spot could open up here in Pittsburgh (that is, until I make it to Georgia) 🙂 Very interesting to hear about the khachapuri version with egg! And yes, definitely replicate in your own kitchen-that’s sometimes the next best thing to being at the destination.

  • Reply
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    […] I’m definitely intrigued by any bread that’s baked in the ashes of a fireplace and then later on in an oven. It can have potatoes or cheese inside and also herbs and grains like sesame and dried dill. It definitely reminds me of the Georgian style pizza khachapuri. […]

  • Reply
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    February 27, 2017 at 7:34 am

    […] (the Caucasus region Georgia, not the state that gave us Coca-Cola and Scarlett O’Hara). I adore khachapuri,  the famous cheese bread,  and hope on my next visit to New York City to make it to a Georgian […]

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    […] I had already made the country’s signature dish, khachapuri, a type of cheese bread (click here to make it yourself). And I had become (mildly) obsessed with the idea of one day visiting the […]

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