The supra, or feast, is the ultimate expression of Georgian hospitality. Here’s what you can expect to be served. A friendly suggestion: wear trousers with an elastic waistband.
The Supra, a legendary spread of food and wine, is usually held to welcome guests, or to celebrate a special occasion. Either way, it will last for hours and ensure you leave the table several pounds heavier than when you arrived.
Whether you’re looking to pile on the weight or not, the supra is the best place to sample an array of traditional Georgian dishes. There will inevitably be khachapuri cheese bread, which is practically unavoidable at any Georgian dining table. Badrijani nigvzit, or aubergine with ground walnuts and pomegranate reduction should also be present, as well as dolma or grape leaves stuffed with rice and ground lamb. Tkemali sauce - a tart condiment of stewed plums with garlic and dill - is the Georgian equivalent of ketchup, so there will be plenty of that to slather on your shashlik or barbecued chicken and lamb.
Khinkali dumplings may also be a feature of the supra table. These heavy dumplings are stuffed with ground pork or lamb, onions, spices and herbs, not to mention lots of delicious cooking juices. There’s an art to eating them without spilling the juices on the plate, or worse, down your shirt. The thick top part of the dumpling dough is for leaving on the plate to show how many you’ve eaten. The more the better.
Thankfully, all that eating and drinking is broken up by a tamada or toastmaster, whose job it is to raise a glass of Georgian wine at least ten or even twenty times during the course of the meal. The tamada is the resident poet, philosopher and comedian who will toast everything from your health to your dear old mother with sincerity and humour, often in verse. He’ll even call on the musicians around the table to join him in some delightful polyphonic singing to make the supra a feast you’ll never forget.
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