Radio Free Europe: “In Israel, A Growing National Love Affair with Georgian Food”

Singer Mickey Mirel is one of three co-owners of Supra in Tel Aviv. Photo/Daniella Cheslow (RFE/RL), Feb 19, 2016, Tbilisi, Georgia

Foodies in Israel are enjoying a growing love affair with Georgian food and can satisfy their cravings at any of the dozen Georgian restaurants now operating in the country, writes Daniella Cheslow for Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty.

Supra – a 150-seat restaurant named after a Georgian feast that can last for hours or even days – is the latest Georgian restaurant to open in capital Tel Aviv, and it’s owned and operated by Georgian-born emigrants who serve traditional khinkali (meat dumplings) khachapuri (cheese bread) and dishes laced with eggplant or mashed walnuts – a staple in Georgia.

One of the restaurant’s co-owners Mickey Mirel said serving walnuts reminded him of his Georgian grandmother, who spent hours a week crushing the nuts in their home city of Ramle, outside Tel Aviv.

As a boy, people laughed at me for being Georgian," Mirel says. "Being Georgian was not seen as being sexy. But now they understand the Georgian culture is full of culture, full of joy, full of passion."

The article details the explosion in popularity of Georgian cuisine in Israel but it also has a video showing viewers how to make traditional Georgian khinkali.

The growing popularity of Georgian cuisine has contributed to growing numbers of Israeli’s travelling to Georgia to experience the country, its food and culture first-hand.

Each year about 60,000 Israelis visit Georgia annually, said Israel's Tourism Ministry, and the number was growing substantially each year with Georgia becoming a popular alternative to Turkey. Now Israel and Georgia have a visa-free travel agreement.

In January, El Al became the third Israeli airline to offer direct 2.5-hour flights between Tel Aviv and Tbilisi, in addition to Georgian Airways.”

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