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I-ATE Term of the Week: Khachapuri

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I-ATE Term of the Week: Khachapuri

Khachapuri is one of the most famous Georgian dishes.

In 2010, the National Intellectual Property Centre of Georgia developed a legislative draft to protect khachapuri’s trade name. The national centre proposes the introduction of the European protection system for national trademarks TSG (Traditional Specialty Guaranteed) in Georgia. According to this law, manufacturers in other countries are not allowed  to name the product “khachapuri” unless it is baked using the methods and ingredients specified in the document.

In September 2011, the Georgian authorities issued a patent for khachapuri amongst several other national dishes.

Furthermore, in January 2019, the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia officially recognised khachapuri as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Georgia.

There are various legends about the origin of the name “khachapuri”.

According to one of them, a person  named Khacha made it for the first time and, after that, khachapuri spread throughout Georgia.

According to another source, a slightly more convincing version, the name “khachapuri” comes from the Georgian words “khach” – cheese and “puri” – bread.

The origin of the recipe is not certain either. However, historians agree that khachapuri was first made in the Middle Ages, when herders were often away from home for long lengths of time to graze cattle, covering long distances, and needed an easy-to-pack and nourishing food that would not spoil easily. They could not carry a lot of food with them nor were they able to cook on the road. The solution to this problem was a new dish: what is simpler than mixing water and flour, putting a piece of cheese in the dough and baking it?

Recipe of classical khachapuri

Ingredients

For the dough:
• milk – 125 ml,
• drinking water – 125 ml,
• dry yeast – 7 g,
• salt – 1 teaspoon,
• sugar – 2 teaspoons,
• vegetable oil – 1-2 tablespoons,
• egg – 1 PC.,
• flour – approx. 400 g.

For the stuffing:
• cheese – 500 g,
• butter – 100 g,
• eggs – 4-5 PCs.

Preparation

Dough:
1) Mix milk and water.
2) Heat (but don’t boil).
3) Add sugar and yeast.
4) Mix.
5) Let stand for 10 minutes.
6) Pour in the oil.
7) Add salt and the egg.
8) Mix.
9) Gradually add the sifted flour.
10) Knead the dough (which should be elastic and very soft).

You may need to add more (or less) flour depending on the dough’s consistency: as soon as the dough stops sticking to your hands, put it in a large bowl, cover with a towel and keep warm for 2 hours until its size will have doubled.

Stuffing:
1) Grate the cheese (large shavings).
2) Add the melted butter.
3) Knead.

Cooking:
1) Divide the dough into 4-5 equal parts (depending on the desired size for each khachapuri).
2) Stretch out forming large, thin ovals.
3) Spread some cheese on the sides.
4) Wrap the parallel sides so that the cheese is incorporated.
5) Press the edges, giving the dough the shape of a boat.
6) Fill the formed “canoe” with the stuffing.
7) Transfer the “khachapuri” on a baking sheet.
8) Smear beaten egg, or yolk, mixed with water (1 tablespoon) on the sides (optional).
9) Bake khachapuri in a preheated oven at 200°C for about 15-25 minutes.
10) Remove from oven.
11) Dig a bit in the cheese stuffing with a spoon.
12) Pour a raw egg into each “canoe”.
13) Bake in the oven for another 4-6 minutes (the egg white should slightly fasten, the yolk should remain zliquidly).
14) Grease the side crusts of the finished khachapuri with butter.
15) Add a small piece of butter to the stuffing.

How to eat it?

Georgians eat khachapuri only with their hands.

1) Tear off the pointed ends of the “canoe”: these toasted side crusts will serve as a fork.
2) Mix the stuffing (cheese and the egg, or other) using the dough pieces as a fork.
3) Use the dough pieces to pick up the stuffing.
4) Eat the dough pieces with the stuffing.

Apart from the classical Adjaran khachapuri with cheese and eggs, there are many different kinds of khachapuri, for example stuffed with spinach, beans or meat. Which one is your favourite?

Resources

Depo UA. 2020. История на тарелке: Грузинский символ – хачапури. [ONLINE]
Available at: https://www.depo.ua/rus/life/istoriya-na-tariltsi-gruzinskiy-simvol-khachapuri-202002151113243.
[Accessed 4 February 2021].

Gruzinskaya Kuhnya. 2020. Ачарули — аджарские хачапури. [ONLINE] Available at: https://gruzinskaya-kuhnya.ru/acharuli-adzharskie-hachapuri/. [Accessed 4 February 2021].

Gruzinskaya Kuhnya. 2020. Рецепт теста для ХАЧАПУРИ. [ONLINE] Available at: https://gruzinskaya-kuhnya.ru/acharuli-adzharskie-hachapuri/. [Accessed 4 February 2021].

Insta Food. 2021. История хачапури: когда, где и как? Полный обзор от INSTAFOOD. [ONLINE] Available at: https://instafood.com.ua/istoriya-blyuda-khachapuri-traditsionnoy-gruzinskoy-kukhni. [Accessed 4 February 2021].

Ivona. 2012. Хачапури: История, основные виды и советы по приготовлению. [ONLINE]
Available at: http://ivona.bigmir.net/cooking/toowners/342586-Hachapuri–Istorija–osnovnye-vidy-i-sovety-po-prigotovleniju.
[Accessed 4 February 2021].


Giulia Dal Fabbro

Written by Giulia Dal Fabbro. Schuman Trainees’ Committee Career Coordinator and Trainee at DG TRAD – Planning Unit – Presidency and Plenary Translation Request Service. She holds a binational German-Italian Bachelor’s in Applied Interlinguistic Communication and German-Italian Studies, a Master’s in Specialised Translation and Conference Interpreting and a Master’s in Global Marketing, Communication and Made in Italy.

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