I briefly visited the country of Georgia twice, in 2008 and 2018. For my first visit, I was a bit wet-behind-the-ears, unsure of what I was doing there, and more importantly, what to eat.
After a random meal at a wine cellar in Tbilisi, its capital, I was floored by the deliciousness not only of the food, but also the wine. And even after piling on the kebabs, the pomegranate seeds, the walnut sauces, and the spontaneous lessons in viniculture by the waitstaff, I wanted to know more about Georgian food. So, I sampled baklava, cherry juice, quince jam, and khinkali (dumpling)…all excellent.
Yet, it took me the return trip to New York to find out about the mother-ship of savory bread, that being khachapuri.
Khachapuri (in Georgian, ხაჭაპური) is the catch-all for cheese-filled leavened bread, whereas “khach” = curd, and “puri” = bread. Different regions in Georgia have their own methods to prepare khachapuri, but today’s post will focus squarely on the version from Adjara, along its southwestern border with Turkey.
Khachapuri Adjaruli, quite simply, is a carbohydrate AND fat paradise. What does that mean? Inside of the bread canoe, you will find butter, eggs, and briny Sulguni cheese. Nothing leafy and green – i.e. healthy – to get in the way, just pure corporeal malevolence.
How do you eat it? Mix up the butter, eggs, and cheese to create a “soup,” then start tearing off the bread bit by bit, dunking it into your the heady mix. After you’re done, you may not want to eat for the rest of the year – make sure you’re trying it on December 31st to cheat – but oh is it ever worth it.
On my second visit to Tbilisi, I literally took a cab from the airport to Cafe Khachapuri, not because I read that it was good, but because just look at that name.