ADJARA AND GURIA CULINARY TOUR

In Adjara and Guria, mountains and sea combine to present a unique natural setting and a mild climate, which also determines their culinary output.  Cooks make liberal use of local herbs and spices in vegetable and bean dishes, corn bread (mchadi) and the Adjarian sweets baklava and shakar lama.  Plentiful dairy products and nuts are at hand for richer dishes.

Places to visit

Petra is the site of a historic fortress located on the narrow road that linked it to 6th century Byzantium, Persia and Armenia.  It also controlled the Black Sea trade routes which were contested over the centuries by these neighbouring powers. Today it is known as the village of Tsikhisdziri.

Gonio fortress was first mentioned in the writings of Pliny the Younger in the first century AD. Later Genoa and Venice were interested in its conquest.

Dishes to taste

The star of the Adjarian kitchen is acharuli khachapuri, a boat-shaped bread filled with local cheese, and distinguished from other Georgian khachapuri by the egg and melted butter baked in the well on top.

In order to make chirbuli, eggs Adjarian style, corn flour and onions are sautéed in butter, flavourings of garlic, salt and kvatsarakhi–tart barberry syrup–are added and finally the eggs.

borano might be called the Georgian version of fondue as it is a mixture of melted butter poured over crumbled Adjarian cheese.  It is a versatile condiment.

daptsnili is a braided cheese and a well-known specialty of the region.

sinori comes in a savoury or sweet version.  It is a roll of thin flat bread stuffed with a mixture of either cottage cheese, garlic, spices, and topped with mixed greens, or flavoured with honey or sugar.
achma is a type of khachapuri made with layered dough.

acharuli iakhni is a hearty dish of beef stewed with onion, garlic, nuts and spices.

baklava is a sweet confection of phyllo dough layered with nuts and held together with honey.

shakar lama cookies are made from a buttery dough and almonds or hazelnuts.

kvirkvali–plain beans–are often served with fowl, along with vegetable pâté and mchadi (corn patties). The Gurian way of frying mchadi or fish is to wrap these in grape or walnut leaves for a unique flavour.

satsivi of fish, and fried chicken with rice from the Gurian kitchen are worth noting because of their rich, nut-based sauces.

guruli khachapuri is baked in the shape of a half moon and stuffed with cheese and chopped egg.

guruli iapopka   soya flour bread with chopped nuts and egg

janjukha   a sausage-shaped sweet with nuts

Wines to savour

Tsolikauri is the most popular white wine grape in western Georgia.  Ninety percent of vineyards are planted to tsolikauri which yields a wine with stone fruit and floral flavours. Chkhaveri  is an amber-coloured wine

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kutaisi, transfer to hotel, city tour. overnight in hotel

Day 2: Tour to Adjaristskali village, master class in Adjarian cuisine and sampling, wine degustation. overnight in Batumi

Day 3: Excursion to Mtirala National Park, pic-nick, free time, overnight in Batumi

Day 4: Departure to Guria, master class in Gurian cuisine and sampling, wine degustation, overnight in Batumi

Day 5: Departure from Batumi

Note: Price depends on type of accommodation and number of persons.