Abkhazia is a small country on the Black Sea coast, sunny, hospitable, tasty and fragrant.
The brand chef of the culinary service tells about her impressions. "Dinner at home" Elena Chazova.
What to try: Oriental coffee, pecan pies, tangerine juice
Market in Sukhumi
We arrived at the market early in the morning, and started the day with a real Oriental coffee. He is brewed on the sand in an iron Turk. Thanks to the sand, the coffee warms evenly and the drink is obtained with a rich taste and aroma.
The coffee itself must be very finely ground, almost to dust. An important element is water. It should be clean and cold, preferably — spring.
For many years on the Sukhumi market, this divine drink costs no more than 50 rubles, so do not be fooled.
To Oriental coffee go well patties with nuts. There is nothing in the local bakery, not even tables. but the queue for pies is in the morning.
People crowd at the entrance, wait for the new batch to be baked, and take a dozen at once.
The patties are large, but the dough is so weightless, and the filling is tasty that you won’t notice how the hand will reach for the second and third.
The market would not be Abkhaz at all if there were no tangerines.
Tangerines are always on the market, as if there is an eternal New Year. Large, on a branch, with leaves and just loosely, orange citruses can be bought for ridiculous money.
We decided to try tangerine juice, which was unusual for us. First, tangerine juice is not the most popular product in Russia. Secondly, here it is not just squeezed, but boiled.
Ripe tangerines are collected, cleaned and squeezed.
Then heated, not boiling — this process is called pasteurization.
Sugar during cooking is not added.
Traditionally, the juice is prepared in January: by this time the tangerines are gaining maximum sweetness, so the juice turns out very tasty and rather sweet in itself.
At the Sukhumi bazaar you can buy any local vegetables and fruits at bargain prices.
The main specialty of Abkhazia is adjika. Prepare it in a special way: pieces of dried hot pepper, coriander seeds, garlic, blue fenugreek and salt are ground on a flat stone and mixed. In each family, the adjika recipe can vary and be supplemented, for example, with greens or spices.
But the basis is always the same.
Every Abkhazian family has its own adzhika cooking secrets
If adjika seems too hot, choose softer sauces, for example, tkemali — cherry plum with garlic and herbs. In the process of cooking ombalo — marsh mint is added to this sauce.
But first, wait until the plum gives juice. Then boil it, gradually adding everything you need, and mix everything in a blender.
Tkemali is served to fish, meat, poultry and any side dish.
The next item on the list with presents is smoked Abkhaz cheese, a counter with which you can easily find it by its bright smell. They make cheese from cow’s milk, sometimes from goat’s milk. Freshly prepared cheese is stored in the refrigerator for only a few days, so it is immediately smoked.
If you smoke for 2 days, the cheese gets flavor, but remains soft, it can be stored up to six months at any temperature. If you smoke a couple of months, then the cheese will become stone.
It can be stored for decades, then put in warm water for a day — and you can eat. There are several types of cheeses on the Sukhum market: ashvlaguan — he is suluguni, ashvadza — sour milk cheese, ashvchapan — cheese with mint and spicy sour milk sauce, achayur — buldy paste cheese.
The business card of Abkhazia is Suluguni. White — the usual salty, brown — smoked.
There is also a “first cheese” — a shapeless mass of white. It is used for baking, or boiled again to the stage of mature suluguni.
A good Abkhaz woman will cut a generous slice of any cheese for you on trial — choose.
Abkhaz Cheese Counter
We spent a good 2 hours on a small at first glance market in Sukhum.
During this time, our appetite broke out and we decided to go to lunch at one of the local restaurants. Tip: do not expect good, even at least tolerable service and fast service in local restaurants.
Sukhumy people are slow, with a very measured lifestyle.
So just relax and slowly enjoy the local specialties.
Picnic can be arranged on the beach or green lawn with pastoral views
Since Abkhazia borders Georgia, the cuisines of the two nations are very similar and in many ways overlap.
For example, Achash — the Abkhaz khachapur, which differs from its Georgian “relative” khachapuri, not so much with dough, as with its filling.
As such serves fresh homemade cheese, more like cottage cheese.
Serve Achash can be very hot, without waiting for the cheese to grab — and so it does not follow.
Abkhaz Achash — the closest relative of khachapuri
One of the main dishes in Abkhazia is hominy, thick porridge made from corn flour. This is a local «bread» with which you can eat anything. Local argue that hominy can eat as much as you want and not get better.
Even churek is made from it — pies with nuts or honey.
They cut hominy with a waxed thread or a special wooden knife.
Another specialty that you definitely need to try in Abkhazia is rainbow trout. Once a large local trout farm is now not working at full strength.
But to buy and eat for very little money the freshest fish — this is relevant to this day. Right on the farm trout can be fried on a fire.
Or ask your local secret recipe and cook at home.
Or just trust Abkhazian culinary.
And lest you try, be sure to order a glass of Abkhaz chacha before eating. It was a glass: chacha, which was always considered a local aperitif, should not be abused. Chacha — grape vodka, Although this drink is more like a brandy — it does not take nobleness.
In Abkhazia, chacha is being done by everyone. Everything. But not everyone has the best quality.
Therefore, if you decide to buy a chacha as a gift, consult with local residents.
They will tell you who has the most delicious chacha on the market.
Types of Sukhumi