It is with great relief that I have arrived home. Finally, I can unbuckle my belt, pop the top button and collapse into the leather armchair with a sigh and a mixture of contentment and sheer, carbohydrate induced, misery.
I have just attended my first supra!
Simply put, a supra is Georgian cuisine’s version of the Spanish Inquisition… Less iron-maidens and more iron dishes, admittedly; tum-screws rather than thumb-screws, but still torture (of the most delightful kind) nonetheless. It was an intense, but wonderful evening of food, wine, food, frequent toasts, food and regional dancers.
Did I mention there was also food?
Ah, the food!
The tonispuri – bread cooked in an oven that resembles a tandoor, was almost beyond description. The almond shaped flat bread (yet containing yeast, I believe), with a slight salty tang, was a taste sensation! Yet this eventually turned out to be the least interesting of the platters that were quickly stacking up before me. It seemed that my hosts, a lovely couple called Zura and Tinatin, were intent on feeding me, and their other guests, every native dish at this single sitting. Plate upon plate of chicken, mchadi (little corn-flour breads) Mtsvadi (kebabs), lamb, strange things covered in walnut sauce, pickled grasses and vegetables, khinkali, (spicy minced meat in a boiled pastry wrapping) calf’s foot soup, spicy sausage and tomato soup – the list was endless – arrived at our table.
However, two items stuck out for me. One, because it was the only thing I didn’t enjoy at the ‘banquet’ and another because it was, quite simply, love at first bite. Let me introduce you to Khajapuri andLobiani. Both are stuffed breads, both baked in a similar fashion, but one contains a sumptuous salty, cheesy, buttery treat, whilst the other contains kidney bean mush! However, I seemed to be in a minority, as ample quantities of both slid down the equally ample throats and were quickly followed by local wine
s, cha-cha (vodka) and tarragon sodas.
Now, several hours and many thousands of calories later, I am peering over my distended belly, trying to espy my feet and I’m torn between cursing the vast excess that has just happened, and fixing a date for my next Georgian supra.