BBC: “How to Survive a Georgian Feast”

The Georgian supra feast brings family and friends together. Photo credit: kpzfoto/Alamy from BBC., May 05, 2016, Tbilisi, Georgia

It’s not often foreign visitors to Georgia are invited to a Georgian supra (feast) but when they do, it’s an experience they’ll never forget. BBC writer Suchi Rudra takes readers on a gastronomical journey about her first experience of a Georgian supra, and it will leave you salivating.

After spending three days exploring the Racha region, Rudra and her travelling companions were invited to a traditional Georgian feast by their host Nino.

I had only heard stories about the famous Georgian supra, the traditional feast offered spontaneously to only the luckiest of visitors. I’d been told that the incredibly generous villagers ply guests with local dishes and endless pours of strong, homemade wine, accompanied by countless long, nostalgic and heartfelt toasts. I couldn’t believe that we might get the chance to attend,” she writes for the BBC travel section.

After arriving at a small unoccupied restaurant, plates of glistening khachapuri (cheese bread), chunky tomato-cucumber salad, clay-dish baked mushrooms and other delicacies already lined the table awaiting their arrival.

Wine was poured generously as Dato embarked upon his first toast. With Nino translating, he told us how happy he was to celebrate and drink with us. "We don't sit here and eat this much food and drink this much wine for no reason – we share it with you, our guests, to know each other better. So let us drink to tradition.”

Out came the fresh, cubed pork, still steaming from being cooked over a coal barbeque, followed by whole fish on a skewer washed down with copious amounts of wine and toasting – a traditional part of the supra.

"Eat! Eat! Drink! Drink!” Dato pushed us with his raised glass. But nearly every time I tried to sip my wine, he or Mamuka plunged into another speech,” writes Rudra.

"One long toast discussed how the Greek myth of Jason and the Golden Fleece actually took place in Georgia. Another turned into a recital of a famous Georgian poem, which Nino said she had no idea how to translate. Yet another was a toast to women.”

By toast number eight or nine, things seemed as though they would never end. Our host and Mamuka had laughed so hard that their faces had turned red. We could only make laughing sounds from our throats as our mouths were constantly full of food. We'd been feasting for at least three hours by then — anything less could not be called a feast.”

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