Georgian Cuisine: Sweets
Traditionally the Georgians prefer fruits berries, nuts, wine or honey for dessert. There are practically no splits (“namtskhvary”) in traditional Georgian cuisine. In autumn and winter comfits and sun-dried fruits serve as dessert.
The major part of Georgian sweets is nut-based. Whereas the other confectioneries, such as: halvahs, sweet pies, cake-bread with sweet stuffs are borrowed from national cuisines of other peoples. For instance, sweet pies are borrowed from Russian cuisine; they are baked from sandy paste and butter-based dough, whereas the stuff is jam with nuts, traditional for the Georgians.
Churchkhela is the best-known sweets among the traditional Georgian ones. These Georgian national sweetmeats are made of nuts beaded on a thread and cooked in flour-thickened grape juice. The best-known receipt of Churchkhela in Georgia is Kakhetian and Imeretian ones.
Churchkhela is a dish cooked during several months. Kakhetin churchkhela is made from white grapes. The juice, necessary for it, is boiled for 30 minutes, and then it is left for 10-12 hours to settle. The juice is thickened with flour and after that threaded filler is submersed into it. English walnut, almond, hazel-nut, raisins, peach or apricot stones may be used as the filler. The churchkhela should be dried within 15- 17 days, then matured for several months and only after that it is served to table.
One of the few traditional Georgian sweets is pelamushi. It is thick jelly made of grape juice and corn meal. The pelamushi are usually served with nuts. Among the floury sweets one should mentioned a stuffed bun - kada and cornflakes in syrup – baty-buty.
Kozinaki, flat candies made of honey, having special gusto for the Georgians, are served to a festive table on the first day of New Year. The recipe is rather simple. The nuts fried to brown are added to the honey and sugar warmed up in a casserole. Then all this is mixed and divided into random masses.