Georgia celebrates National Khachapuri Day on February 27


What is an all-time signature dish of Georgian cuisine? At a first glance, this seems a not-so-easy question and you might even get a few clear-cut answers, but one of the responses to this possible inquiry will undoubtedly be Khachapuri. Georgians take national pride in this dish. Whether it’s the taste qualities or embodying the country’s history and diversity, Khachapuri holds much more value than any other pastry. There are not a few varieties of this dish; similar to songs and dances, each part of Georgia has its own variety of Khachapuri. It’s hard to find a traditional Georgian family where a good hostess does not know at least the easiest recipe of this dish. There are also real masters who prepare Khachapuri with the special recipe and the specialists in the field know those masters by names.

Although Khachapuri and its varieties are nothing unfamiliar to people of different ethnic origins living in Georgia, the Gastronomic Association of Georgia together with LTD “Gunda” organised and financed the research involving the professionals in the field. The research focused on the origins of Khachapuri and its diversity. It lasted for two full years, 2018-2020, and involved a team of 10 professionals who thoroughly studied and put together the information on the matter. Philologist, historian, ethnologist, archeologist, dietitian, gastronomy researcher, and others were part of the mentioned team.

Along with collecting thorough information on Khachapuri, the research also aims to support the promotion of the specific dish within Georgia and abroad. Based on this research to prove the purely Georgian origin of Khachapuri, the Intangible Cultural Heritage element “Khachapuri tradition in Georgia” was given the status of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Georgia on January 22, 2019. Following another initiative of the Gastronomic Association of Georgia, February 27 was announced as National Khachapuri Day. On this occasion, the presentation of Khachapuri research findings was held at Georgian Parliament National Library and the discussion evolved around the importance of the research and the potential of Khachapuri as one of the main tourism products of the country.

Even the biggest admirers of Khachapuri might not know that research revealed 47 varieties of this dish being made in Georgia and each of them has a unique preparation technique, which certainly is linked to the customs of the specific parts of the country. The most popular variety of Khachapuri in Georgia is the Imeretian one, the so-called pan Khachapuri, however, as already noted each part of Georgia has its own specific culinary ways of making the filled dough and so, we have other famous varieties as well: Adjarian, Gurulian, Megrelian, Svanetian, Kakhetian, Tushetian, Ossetian and so on.

There is no proof of a single place of origin of Khachapuri; there were equal conditions for Khachapuri to have been originated in the east as well as west of Georgia, albeit, some researchers consider that the dish has Kolkhetian origins and historically is associated with Kolkheti.

One of the first sources where Khachapuri is mentioned is in the records of Archangelo Lambert (1639-1649). Italian missioner describes the dish as the most important component of the festive dinner table in the old Samegrelo.

It is hard to imagine any restaurant in Georgia whether targeting local customers or focusing on introducing the Georgian cuisine to the tourists, which does not have Khachapuri on the menu. Nevertheless, Khachapuri still needs further promotion not only internationally, but also locally. Khachapuri is the masterpiece of Georgian culinary, which can even be considered as the determinant of Georgian gastronomic identity. Thus, the correct positioning of this dish internationally as the real Georgian product is crucial. Together with Georgian and foreign partners, the Gastronomic Association of Georgia has larger plans in this direction, which will be gradually introduced to the public. Celebrating National Khachapuri Day is also part of these plans, which aims to increase the recognition of Georgian dish worldwide.