After winding through the streets of Tbilisi’s Old Town, I noticed a sausage-like food hanging from multiple shop windows. The odd shape along with the vibrant purple and red colors caught my eye. What were these interesting foods? When I asked my Georgian friend Vladimer he exclaimed, “Those are Georgian ‘Snickers!'”
Churchkhela is a traditional candy originating from the Caucasus region. It is a very popular food, combining two of Georgia’s favorites – grapes and nuts. My Georgian friend also explained that it’s commonly eaten during New Years and Christmas celebrations.
Georgia is known for their grape cultivation and incredible wine. Of course, churchkhela includes Georgian grown grapes. It is made by repeatedly dipping a long string of nuts in concentrated fresh grape juice, and then hung to dry.
I decided to give churchkhelas a taste when I visited a nearby town called Mtskheta, which houses the famous “Church of the Holy Cross.” This sweet treat is a perfect snack (especially for a hungry tourist!) and quite nutritious. Legend has it that Georgian warriors carried churchkhelas with them because they contain enough calories for one man in a day.