Megrelians are one of the ethnic groups of Georgians. They were populated in the central part of historic Colchis.
They speak in Georgian, but they also have their own Megrelian language that they use in their everyday life. Megrelian language also belongs to the Georgian language group. It does not have its own alphabet, they use Georgian one. Megrelian language is one of the oldest in the world and it was the main language in ancient Colchis for the several centuries. So this unique language is very diverse and around 500 000 people speak on it today.
Our great writer Ilia Chavchavadze wrote: “ - I visited Samegrelo and saw Georgia…” Yes, this is Samegrelo, the part of ancient Colchis and one of the most beautiful parts of Georgia which we are proud of.
It should be noted that Megrelian cuisine is very tasty and distinctive.
Generally, their dishes are spicy. The reason for it is the subtropical climate. Malaria disease was a huge risk for Samegrelo Region. However, the locals noticed that using a big amount of pepper could decrease the risk of development of this disease. Finally, the spicy spices became the main attribute of Megrelian Cuisine.
Their most popular dish is Ghomi– that is made from the boiled maize. Sulguni is one of the unique types of cheese that are very famous not only in Georgia but also in our neighbor countries. Other delicious Megrelian dishes are Elarji and Satsivi. Satsivi is the main dish on the New Year’s table.
Megrelian khachapuri, which is my favorite one, is very tasty. It has more cheese than any other version of khachapuri. Another advantage of Megrelian cuisine is that it gives an opportunity to enjoy gluten-free food also. While travelling to Samegrelo Region, I would suggest you to visit the Restaurant El Barco, where you will be able to taste the real Megrelian dishes.
What about the wine, as I have already mentioned in another article, in Georgia, there are more than 500 types of a vine and around 60 grows in Samegrelo Region.
The most famous type of grape is Ojaleshi. From this grape, we make red semi-sweet wine that has a special red color and a slight aroma of the wild rose. This type of vine does not grow in the vineyard but on the branches of the tree. “Ojaleshi” is a Megrelian word and it is translated as “grown on the tree.”
In the 19th century French Ashil Miurat, who was the bridegroom of Ekaterine Chavchavadze, started to make Ojaleshi by the European method of wine-making. Currently, the production of this kind of wine is also spread in the different parts of Georgia.
Nowadays, Samegrelo Region has very many visitors. Guests are pleasantly surprised by the nature of Samegrelo and they love to visit Martvili and Okatse canyons as well. You will definitely love Kinchxa waterfall and to meet with the locals and to enjoy their tasty, traditional dishes is another completely new experience.
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