Eating Local in Georgia
Eating in a foreign country can sometimes be a challenging affair, but here in Tbilisi that problem is not one you’re likely to encounter. Georgian food served in restaurants or street front stalls is delicious and broad in scope, but after a Saturday morning of exploring the trinkets and heirlooms in the flea market we decided to pick up some vegetables to pepare back to our guesthouse. The beauty of this meal lies with the fact that each of these items was purchased within a few hundred meters of our room, and no single item cost us more than a dollar. The vegetables were obviously not grown in the city, but most produce is regionally sourced from small farms in the surrounding country side.
The tomatoes and cucumbers are Georgian staples, and carry the beautiful flavour that only garden ripened vegetables have. The same goes for the radishes which had such a sharp bite that they were pushing the boundary of being too zesty. A small bakery that sits just across the road from our guest house window provided the fresh baked bread, and the yoghurt in the glasses and jars came from a man who comes by every other day to sell new jars in exchange for the old empty ones. The yoghurt is actually matsoni; a fermented cow’s milk that is very similar to yoghurt, but more sour and deliciously fresh tasting when purchased by the travelling vendors.
After lunch we sipped at the product of my first attempt at making Turkish coffee and praised the meal that had cost us just 5.50 GEL ($3.30 CAD) to put together. Restaurants are a fine way to sample a large variety of local cuisine, but the simple delights of local products are always worth seeking out.