The Caucasus region is one of the few areas of the globe yet to send a lot of cuisine ideas to Australia. As such, before I got here I had no idea what to expect food-wise, and as always, I was a little worried about finding vegan nourishment.
Turns out I needn’t have been concerned because Georgian food is full of vegies, beans, breads and walnuts (no other nuts, just walnuts), and a long tradition of religious fasting means there’s a fair bit of vegan food around at the moment. The ease of finding vegan food here doesn’t mean that people don’t look at me with amazement when I say I’m vegetarian, and utter incomprehension when I say I don’t eat milk or eggs either.
So, while we are here I will post about a number of bought foods available to vegans, as well as trying my hand at reproducing some vegan and not-traditionally-vegan dishes myself.
On the menu for Georgia is:
- Khinkali, a boiled, meat or mushroom filled dumpling that looks a bit like a coin-purse
- Lobios Chorba, red bean soup
- Lobiani, bean bread
- Shotis Puri, an odd shaped bread made in a special oven (I wont be making this, just reviewing it)
- Adzhika, a chilli paste, as above just eating, not making
- Fried potatoes with mushrooms
- Abkhazura, spicy meatballs
- Eggplant with Walnut
- Walnut Paste with beetroot
- Various salads, walnut dishes (these guys totally dig walnuts), jams, purees and vegie dishes
If you’d like to play along at home, here are some good places to find Georgian recipes:
Georgian Taste (this one has fabulous pictures, too)
Wish me luck!