Totally. I got caught up in the thread drift. But it is tasty stuff nevertheless.
Let’s talk Khachapuri, particularly the adjaran / adjaruli style (Georgian cheesebread that a lot of Armenians make)
I don’t doubt it. And Koreans make ok sushi to… but I was told FTC is where seeking best in class (i mean snobbery) is permitted
Smart Mouth did a podcast episode on Khachapuri with Josh Scherer (Culinary Brodown) and his favorite place is Bravo Chicken and Pizza in NoHo.
I wish I had a suggestion to offer - I don’t, but having just recently spent time in Georgia and Azerbaijan, I am desperate to find a delicious (and authentic) Khachapuri here.
Oh, and FTR, I was b-l-o-w-n away by the food in both countries.
How did you find Baku? It’s my place of birth (that I can’t / won’t) visit
Thought a bit “Disney” in some spots, we both loved Baku. I think we were there for 4 or 5 nights and happily could’ve stayed longer. In particular, the “Old meets New” (I’m a big fan of contemporary architecture) we enjoyed, along with the food (give me plov for days), the metro (absolutely gorgeous stations), and more.
I’m not naive enough to think there are not issues, but look where we live today - we’ve got plenty of issues here, too.
There are Georgian restaurants in San Diego and Palo Alto.
I still have dreams from my childhood there. So weird. We became fugees in 1988
Same here re Georgia (Tblisi and Gori). Easily the best food I had in the USSR proper.
Try the cognac next time you hit a Georgian place. It’s supposed to be their national specialty.
Pomegranate doesn’t serve any hard liquor. They have awful low-alcohol “vodka” that’s legal to sell under a beer and wine license.
Makes sense. Doesn’t Georgia claim to be where wine started?
Yes Georgia and Armenia, they’re right next to each other and there were no borders back when it was starting. They don’t just claim it, they’ve found caves in Armenia that are crazy old, BC.
Armenia has been the better brandy producer though due to recent history. Soviet planned economy assigned Armenia as the brandy maker and Georgia as wine so the wine production and probably some of the grape strains suffered
Oh, you’re talking about chacha. That’s grappa, made from the pomace left over from making wine. I don’t think that’s commercially available in California.
Armenia and Georgia have a very long history of making a type of brandy that is aged in a similar manner as cognac. This is, as I’m sure you know very well, a different product than grappa. The two countries can produce some very good product, actually.
Fun fact: some Armenian producers even insist they have a right to call their product “cognac” and not just brandy. It’s a long and weird situation that I’ll let individuals research on their own as opposed to regurgitating it here.
Brandy is made all over the place over there, notably also in the baltics etc. Armenians call it Arak or Arakh, just as many others do. We have particularly concentrated fruit and superb water so we’ve had amazing brandy for ages. I think cognac started to be called that during the Russian connection, they’re the ones to borrow french words. In Armenian it’s arak. But depending on the fruit we have variations, such as the Mulberry kind called tutovka. Never seen or heard anything close to grappa on our tables. Everyone in our circles calls armenian brandy cognac, but maybe that’s because we’re Russian speakers.
Now i want some.
I need the mulberry brandy. Like right now.
Do you have a source in LA?
First I’ve heard of aged brandy from Georgia. The ones I’ve had were all clear and tasted exactly like grappa. I haven’t heard of any Georgian producers distilling brandy by distilling wine, the ones I’ve heard of are made from pomace. Traditionally it was homemade and from what I hear that’s still common.
Armenian brandies are for me the opposite story. To my knowledge they’re all distilled from wine and aged. If they make a clear pomace brandy I’ve never heard of it. Good value.
This writer summarizes some of the more boring sources nicely: