Farm to table food and wine are very important to the philosophy of Racha and Imereti, more specifically, local food and wine. They believe that the enjoyment and sharing of food and wine builds community, especially if it is sourced from within the community itself. That is why they not only produce wine that is grown in their own back yards, but they also grow most of the products used in their restaurants. You will travel through the two most beautiful regions of Georgia – Imereti and Racha. These regions are neighbors, however as much as they are like each other due to natural conditions, differ from each other with character and the way of life.
Places to Visit:
Gelati Monastery-UNESCO world cultural heritage site. The most important Georgian medieval architectural ensemble. Founded in 1106 under the leadership of David the Builder, who rests in this Monastery.
Bagrati Temple-was built by the order of Bagrat III in 1003 in the name of Saint Mary. Temple is consider as a symbol of reunification of Georgia.
Barakoni Church-Old Georgian domed monument in Racha, Ambrolauri municipality. Barakoni is located at the confluence of rivers, Lukhuni and Rioni, often it is associated with Svetitskhoveli in the vicinity of which, river Aragvi merges river Mtkvari.
Minda castle-medieval castle, it belonged to lords of Racha, Kakhaberisdze.
Nikortsminda Temple, UNESCO world cultural heritage site-Built in 1010 – 1014 during the reign of Bagrat III . Nikortsminda church is distinguished by its elegant decorations and frescoes.
Oni Synagogue-Jewish architectural monument, distinguished by its magnificent architecture and paintings.
Utsera and Shovi-Two largest Racha Resorts, which are famous for its medical mineral waters.
Sataplia caves and footprints of dinosaurs.
Dishes to taste:
Imeretian khachapuri -it is a bread baked with cheese inside. There is a big variety of Khachapuris in Georgia. However, Imeretian one is special. The main feature of it is Imeretian cheese.
Fkhali-prepared with spinach , leeks , beet leaves and other herbs.
Eggplant roulettes-prepared with blended nuts, herbs, diverse spices and pomegranate.
Boiled chicken , with “Garlic souce”. Prepared with water, crushed garlic and other species.
Bazhe-Imeretian variation of sacivi, where instead of turkey is used a chicken meat.
Kuchmachi-this dish is a type of Zhurzhani (the same Kuchmachi). Preparation of imeretian kuchmachi is similar to Mengrelians, the only difference is that, in imeretian way it is used beef and pork entrails, instead of chicken’s. This dish is also served with walnuts.
Imeretian cuisine’s features are dishes made from mushroom, there are different variations.
Gozinaki-mixture of fried nuts and honey.
If you ask any Georgian about rachian cuisine first of all they will name Lobiani and ham, let’s start with it.
Lobiani-moistened baked bread with beans inside. Rachian lobiani is baked with small pieces of ham inside.
Rachian ham -sliced pork is salted and hanged above bakery, in a smoky place, to get flavor of baked bread. Usually it is made in winter to get some frost at nights and this way it riches perfectly collaborated state.
Chicken with wild blackberry sauce-Blackberries can be found throughout Georgia’s mountainous Racha region and the berries are used extensively in local cuisine. Blackberry sauce is used for special occasions and celebrations.
Rachuli khachapuri-it’s known in Georgia as layered khachapuri, called by locals as “bachulebi”.
Beans in pot with ham-it has special preparation rules. Pot with beans and sliced ham inside is hanged in bakery, while baking bread. The aromas are mixed with each other to get a great taste during boiling. Beans boiled that way are eaten with dried Mchadi baked on pan, together with Rachian salty cheese and marinade of Jonjoli.
Variety of dishes are prepared from different species of mushrooms and fish caught in the local rivers. Niqvi mushrooms (Caesar’s Mushroom) and mountain trout are especially popular.
Wines to taste:
Racha and Imereti is well known for variety of wines. Here are white as well as red wines.
In Racha especially notable are grape varieties, the number of which reaches several dozen. Among the best varieties pearly vivid is Aleksandreuli grape, which is the main ingredient in the world famous wine Khvanchkara. Also exceptionally fragrant is white semi sweet wine Rachuli tetra.
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