Churchkhela and other Georgian Desserts
Churchkhela is a traditional Georgian candle-shaped candy. The main ingredients are grape must, nuts and flour. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnut and chocolate and sometimes raisins are threaded onto a string, dipped in thickened grape juice or fruit juices and dried in the shape of a sausage. The traditional technology of churchkhela in the Kakheti region was inscribed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Georgia list in 2015. Georgians usually make Churchkhela in Autumn when the primary ingredients, grapes and nuts, are harvested. It is a string of walnut halves that have been dipped in grape juice called Tatara or Phelamushi (grape juice thickened with flour), and dried in the sun. No sugar is added to make real Churchkhela. Instead of walnuts, sometimes hazelnuts or almonds are used in the regions of west Georgia. The shape of Churchkhela looks like a candle. Georgian warriors carried Churchkhelas with them because they contain many calories. Many foreigners refer to it as the ‘Georgian snickers’ but, in reality, there is nothing that tastes quite like churchkhela. Georgia’s eastern region of Kakheti is considered to be the birthplace of churchkhela, yet one can find a similar sweet, called janjukha, in the western Guria region of Georgia. The candy has the same shape as churchkhela, yet instead of walnuts it contains hazelnuts. When travelling throughout Georgia you may come across this eye-catching, sausage-shaped hearty treat hanging in shops on almost every corner, especially in the tourist areas. However, keep in mind that home-made churchkhela is always better than the store bought ones. The price for one churchkhela is around 2-3 GEL (about 1.20 USD). They are all delicious, just don’t forget to pull the thread out.
Very delicious nourishing but at the same time very simple delicacy of the Georgian national cuisine is Gozinaki. Undoubtedly, many of you have tried it more than once but probably, not all know that Gozinaki has Georgian origin. It is prepared of chopped walnuts (sometimes hazelnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds or sesame) and honey. Gozinaki is an excellent variant for a healthy snack. In Georgia, it is traditionally served on New Year table.
Is popular pastry in Georgia. Basically there are two types of kada – salty and sweet. Each region of Georgia has its own special recipe of preparing it. Sweet kada also varies by technique and shape. There is plain round kada, layered kada, which is cut before it is baked, and also small kada pies.
It’s a spicy bread sweet and nutritious. It has some cinnamon, vanilla, coriander, ground cloves, and sugar. Best Nazuki is sold on the highway from Tbilisi to Batumi, right after the small city – Khashuri. You will not miss them as dozens of women are standing on the road shaking Nazuki in their hands. Every Georgian and tourist alike who passes beautiful Surmai road is unable to resist a good loaf of homemade sweet bread exhibited by the locals in front of their homes. Traditionally, nazuki is baked in a tone, a Georgian cylindrical clay stove, but one can bake nazuki at home in the oven as well.