The Feast of St George - a Georgian Supra
23rd April 2016
By Levan Verdzeuli ლევან ვერძეული - Saint George in Tbilisi, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19006387
The 23rd April is St George's Day. St. George is also the patron saint of Georgia - though it's disputed if the country is named after him, they do have 365 churches consecrated to him, one for each day of the year, and there is a massive monument to him in Tblisi. In doing a bit of research, I discovered that St George was actually a Roman soldier, and "the dragon" was actually supposed to have been slain in Beirut. I always imagined it was in some Welsh village or something, but I suppose it makes more sense as large reptiles are more likely to be found in the Levant than Wales. Georgia is closer to his roots, so they've been on to him, oh, about 1,000 years longer than us.
Georgian food is not well known in the West but is renown within the Soviet bloc for having the best food that the ex-Soviet Union had to offer (and champagne too – search out their wine it’s excellent). Their feasts (supras) are legendary – the tables are so covered with dishes that there is barely room for plates to eat off, indeed it’s considered rude to have to pass anything as there should be so many dishes within easy reach.
a real Georgian feast - you can barely see the table
Georgian culture has remained very distinct from that of the rest of the Soviet Union, keeping its own language, and to a great extent, so has its food. Georgian food is rich in aubergines, fresh herbs, walnuts and pomegranates.
An unusual aspect of Georgian cuisine is that it uses both dill and coriander leaf in the cuisine, often in the same recipes. This to me exemplifies the location of Georgia - straddling North and South, in between Russia and Turkey. Dill is such a northern herb, and coriander leaf such a southern one. But Georgia also straddles Asia and Europe, being on the Silk Road, so you also see aspects similar to Middle Eastern cooking in the meze-style feasts, as well as northern-style dishes such as dumplings, and of course Russian influenced dishes.
Come and try a real Georgian Supra for yourself - you will not be able to see the table for food. Perhaps you can even pick a Tamada (toastmaster) from your fellow diners and drink in the Georgian style too! (In Georgia, you can ONLY drink when toasting something!)
Khachapuri - the ubiquitous traditional Georgian Cheese Bread
Mtsvane Pamidori - Green tomatoes with carrots
Isphanaki Phkali - Spinach with spices
Chicken Satsivi- Chicken in a Walnut sauce
Chanacki - Baked Lamb with aubergine and potatoes (vegetarian option available)
Chirbuli - Cauliflower with Eggs
Lobio - classic Georgian Beans cooked homestyle
Red Beet Phkali - Beetroot with walnuts
Chicken and Lettuce Salad - With pomegranate seeds and cooked lettuce! (vegetarian option available)
Badrijiani - Aubergines stuffed with walnuts and pomegranate seeds
Beet and Bean Tkemali - With a plum sauce
Georgian Salad Made with cold pressed virgin sunflower oil
Dessert will be a scrumptious Georgian version of baklava, Phaklava - made with, you guessed it, walnuts, quite unlike its middle-eastern counterparts, and pomegranates
And, we promise you won't be able to see the tablecloth for the number of dishes on the table, in true Georgian fashion. You'll be begging us to stop... they did last time anyway!
Click here to see a map of Georgia
If you'd like to see more photos of Georgia, I have put an album on our Facebook page
Cost will be £45, of which £35 goes to MSF. Please email us with bookings on firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible, as we do get booked up quite quickly.
We will be teaching a lesson with some of the recipes from this supperclub on the 27th April, please contact us for more details on email@example.com or click here