Georgian Sweets and Snacks
No cuisine is complete without some sweet treats. Although Georgian food is known for its meat and bread products, those with a sweet tooth will not be disappointed at the tempting Georgian sweets and snacks found in bazaars and bakeries throughout the land. From beloved Georgian pastries to candied nuts and homemade gelatins, a variety of delicacies await you in the Caucasus:
Pelamushi – Georgia is world famous for its unique winemaking traditions and huge variety of endemic grapes. However, not many people know that from these grapes Georgians make not only wine, but also a very sweet snack called pelamushi. To make pelamushi, grape juice is simply placed on the fire, warmed and thickened with wheat flour. The end result is a sweet, concentrated treat with a gelatin texture. Pelamushi may be eaten either hot or cold and is often served for dessert.
Churchkhela makes a great snack and is probably the most popular of all Georgian sweets. Churchkhela, with its unique candle shape and sweet taste, is irresistible for visitors while remaining a favorite snack of locals. Churchkhela is made by beading nuts on a thread and immersing them in hot pelamushi (hot grape juice thickened with wheat flour). Since the process can be quite entertaining, churchkhela masterclasses are offered at nearly every rural festival. (For those wondering how to eat churchkhela, you simply bite into it as you would a candy bar). In old times, churchkhela was a staple ration for Georgian soldiers during military expeditions due to their portability and filling, nutritious content.
Gozinaki – It is hard to imagine a traditional Georgian New Year feast without gozinaki, pan-fried walnuts with honey that is flattened and dried on a slab. Gozinaki is a favorite sweet among children and an essential part of a very important local tradition – after ringing in the New Year, family members indulge in this dessert as they wish one another a life as sweet as gozinaki.
Nazuqi is a traditional Georgian sweet pastry from Kartli Region that is baked in a round, clay oven called a tone. The dough of nazuqi is made with warm milk, butter, sugar and eggs, while ingredients like vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and raisins add aroma and flavor to the bread.