Food in the South Caucasus

By Ada Green
This item appears on page 33 of the October 2015 issue.

While traveling in three countries of the South Caucasus in August-September 2014 (July ’15, pg. 15), I got to sample a wide range of foods.

I visited the Republic of Georgia’s western section on my own with a private guide arranged by MIR Corporation (Seattle, WA; 800/424-7289, I traveled in other parts of Georgia as well as in Armenia and Azerbaijan on a group tour with Original World (San Rafael, CA; 888/367-6147, In each country, our group had a different driver and guide, who accompanied us to restaurants.

The food in Armenia resembled the food we ate in Azerbaijan but was very different from our meals in Georgia, where the food was far superior to that of the other two countries. All three countries had wonderful soups. 

I liked the beef and lamb dishes in both Armenia and Azerbaijan, which often were served in the form of kabobs in Azerbaijan, along with the tasty, thin bread known as lavash and fresh, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers.

Azerbaijan was the wealthiest of these three countries but, ironically, had the least amount of choice gastronomically. The meals there tended to be repetitive, with the same items every day and at every meal. 

In Georgia I liked the mushrooms stuffed with cheese, but my favorite dish was khachapuri (cheese pie), which is as close to pizza as one can get in Georgia. My tour guide knew I liked it and she made sure it was available every day.


New York, NY