Khachapuri Takes Away Your Worries

During our Georgian cooking class at
Wine Restaurant Marani in Batumi.

One dish I had quite a few times while studying abroad was “khachapuri,” which is extremely popular in Georgia. It is essentially bread and cheese, with the Adjarian version (Batumi is in the region of Adjara) throwing an egg, or just the yolk, on top at the end of the creation process. During my stay, my host family not only made the Adjarian version but also the Penovani version of khachapuri for me, and I had both versions in different restaurants during other outings. During my last stay in Tbilisi, the night before my flight home, I tried the Megruli version of khachapuri as well…all super delicious! In Batumi, the Adjarian version is very popular and instantly recognizable from the first time you are made familiar with the dish. While it is a part of everyday life, and acceptable to order at every meal, it is also used for celebrations and for treating guests. On my first Saturday in Batumi (when I didn’t have to be up as early for class), my host grandma, Nanuli made me my first khachapuri for breakfast! What is different about the Adjarian version is that it is shaped like a boat — to sail across the vast expanses of the Black Sea, and the egg yolk that lays on top of the cheese represents the gentle, yet bright, sun of Adjara and the coastal community from which the dish originated. 

Khachapuri I made during our Georgian
cooking class at Wine Restaurant Marani in Batumi.

While I often eat most of my food with a fork and knife (a habit I acquired from having braces), khachapuri should be eaten by tearing small chunks of the hot bread from the sides of the “boat” and dipping it into the middle with the melted cheese, butter, and flowing egg yolk. Megruli khachapuri is different as it is essentially like a double cheese pizza, and Penovani khachapuri is like a puff pastry with cheese flowing throughout the layers, which my host mom made me once for breakfast as well! While I only had three versions of khachapuri, there are many, many more, and I am sure if you ever get to try any you will not find a version that is not delicious and that you do not enjoy. I loved this dish so much that since I’ve been home I have practiced making it multiple times for my family, which has been fun to share with them. While I may be impartial to Adjarian khachapuri because of its presentation and the meaning behind it, and because I spent most of my time in Batumi, you will come across this amazing food at almost every step you take in Georgia, as khachapuri is the country’s national dish, and rightly so! Приятного аппетита!