Eating Asia: Drinking Food at the Deserters’ Market in Tbilisi, Georgia


Side note: In my 21 years’ experience and love affair with Georgia and Georgians, I have never experienced anything like this write shared.  I take that back…. Once, when I was lost with a dead phone battery, a female shop keeper was super rude when I asked to use her phone… but the hair salon next door, more than made up for her shocking rudeness. He took my predicament personally and assisted me with the kindness of a big brother and delivered me safely home.  Otherwise, every encounter with Georgians have been nothing but Southern hospitality on steroids, full of charm and profound generosity.  I’m sharing this article for the food and photography illustration, only. 


scenes from Dezerti market, Tblisi, GeorgiaIt is not the best wine I’ve drunk since arriving in Tbilisi the week before, not even close. Lightly effervescent, with a distinctly sour edge. Also, it is 10 AM, and I’m not a morning drinker. Not so the men clustered around Dave and I, watching with keen interest our every sip, our every nibble from the dishes on the counter in front of us. One shortish fellow with a stubbled head and double chin breathes alcoholic fumes on my cheek, then leans back on his heels and smiles, swaying like a Weeble.

I don’t know what to make of him, or of this mid-morning liquor-fueled scene in the near-dark of Dezertiri Market’s rear recesses. And that pretty much describes my state of mind for most of our short time in Georgia. We’d come from eastern Turkey, a place of big smiles, bigger welcomes, outsized hospitality. In eastern Turkey turning down invites to tea, to lunch, to dinner, to a night or five on the spare bed or couch of a perfect stranger has become normal. In Tbilisi, people smile …. or scowl. Shopkeepers are gracious … or rude. Trying to smooth the way with a nicety uttered in (my mangled) Georgian are met with a thumbs-up …. or a cluck of the tongue, a roll of the eyes and a shake of the head. They love you or are annoyed by you (some seem to despise you), these Georgians, and it is near  impossible to predict which it will be. But here, in Dezertiri’s boozy back room, we are most decidedly welcome.

Continue reading.

2 of 24 These Crusader Knights Answered The Call: Loyalty and Guts!


The country known as Georgia derives its name – “Gurgan,” the land of the wolves – from the Persian word for the “frightening and heroic people of that territory.”

Heroic doesn’t even begin to fully describe the Georgians. This fact was evident at the outset of World War I when a troop of crusader knights – in full Medieval armor – marched right up to the governor’s house in the Georgian capital, then called Tiflis (modern-day Tbilisi).

“Where’s the war?” They asked. “We hear there’s a war.”

Continue reading.

The guide: 24 top places to eat, shop and see in Georgia’s stylish capital


An intoxicating blend of ancient and modern, Tbilisi is bursting with architectural gems, tucked-away eateries and late-night hangouts. Little wonder then, that visitors are flocking there. Here’s our edit of the city’s finest attractions.

Continue reading.

Katie Melua – Yes You Can Go Home Again.

Click to see video.

We shot this behind the scenes footage during rehearsals, preparing for the recording for ‘In Winter’.


American Friends of Georgia’s Most Successful Gala!

AFG Hosts Most Successful Gala Ever in Tbilisi

Our Gala raised $111,300 after expenses, which included an additional pledge of $41,000 by Ivane Nakaidze, founder and managing partner of Petrocas Energy Group and Patron of our Gala in Tbilisi. Our goal was to raise funds for two specific projects–the Dzegvi Community Building Fund and the Hospice Home Care Program–and to restore the tradition of philanthropy in Georgia.

Painting by Levan Lagidze donated by Board Members Ambassador and Mrs. Richard Miles, Auctioneer Extraordinaire & Managing Director of Pricewaterhouse Coopers Cliff Isaak, AFG Executive Director/Georgia Lena Kiladze and volunteer Keti Sidamonidze

Learn more….

Video highlights from the Tbilisi December 12, 2015 Fundraising Gala

View the the entire Gala video

The Dzegvi Community Building Fund

The Gala began our year-long campaign to raise enough funds for the renovation of a former orphanage building, which is part of a complex of buildings housing 78 residents who are mentally ill adults, physically handicapped adults, and abandoned single mothers with their children. This transformed building will become a community center with vocational training, workshops, and rooms for residents.

Children in the building needing renovation at Dzegvi Community Shelter, photo by Nella Rasic

Learn More…

Click here to view film: Dzegvi Community Shelter and Hospice Home Care Program Film

Photos made by David Khizanishvili, Editing by David Khizanishvili and Kate Kalandarishvili

The Hospice Home Care Program

Founded by Abbess Mariam, the Hospice Home Care Program brings much needed nursing care and comfort to elderly and seriously ill Georgians in their homes. Our year-long campaign seeks to help Abbess Mariam expand the homecare program to reach additional unserved Georgians who are desperately poor and sick or alone without care.

Marusya Chavchavadze and Abbess Mariam at work visiting a Home Care patient, photo by Nella Rasic

Learn more…

Merry Christmas from Georgia!

Unique Traditions For New Year And Christmas In Georgia

By Kidworldcitizen

e082a9ef10607de9e792544f18bd16d1 The traditional Georgian Christmas tree, called chichilaki in Georgian, is not green. Georgians have been making the Georgian-style Christmas tree since ancient times. Environmentally friendly Chichilaki originated in the provinces of Guria and Samegrelo, the western part of the country.Chichilaki was decorated with the two bow-shaped items called Kalpi and Bokeri. Kalpi was made from ivy leafs and Bokeli was a bread baked with eggs, flour, and cheese both as the symbols of life and fertility.

At first sight, nutwood twigs with long fluffy shavings may seem quite unattractive if you are used to lush green, fir-tree branches. The curly shavings, which the master removes moving upwards from the bottom, are called basila in honor of St. Basily’s beard, the patron saint of animals and harbinger of new happiness. A wooden cross is usually attached to the top of the chichilaki and the tree itself is invariably decorated elegantly with fruits, berries and flowers. Unfortunately, this beauty doesn’t stay long: after the holidays, people burn their trees, symbolizing that the previous year’s misfortunes go up in smoke.

More familiar Christmas concepts have a place in Georgian festivities, as well. Santa Claus, known as tovlis bubua (Grandpa Snow), is usually depicted wearing traditional Georgian clothes and a fur cloak called a nabadi. Although Grandpa Snow doesn’t have reindeer, but he still is believed to visit homes on Christmas Eve, leaving presents for the children.

Mekvele is another typically Georgian New Year’s tradition.  The first person to come into one’s house on New Year’s with “happy feet’ symbolically brings in joy and prosperity. He or she is showered with candies and in return presents the hosts a basket with delicacies wishing the upcoming year to be satisfying and sweet.  Those said to have “happy feet” are invited to Georgian households to provide good luck for the family.

Christmas lights around the world: How we light up the holidays @CNNTravel. TBILISI !!

See slideshow.


News from Georgia!

Congrats to our Hopscotch family on your two beautiful daughters!


Tbilisi Street Food – National Geographic Discovers Georgian Cuisine



Disclaimer: I have no clue why the producers of this video chose music so far from anything possibly known to Georgia. Georgian music is so beautiful and unique, why this crazy stuff?   If only you could delete the music sound track, Turkish captions and keep the visuals and Georgian speaking subjects it would be perfect. 

National Geographic TV Programme Street Food Around The World visited Georgia. Focusing on the most widely used ingredients, Ishai Golan had 25 hours to taste all the foods Tbilisi’s streets had to offer.

"Despite a turbulent past, Georgian cuisine has maintained an exceptional variety of foods. Ishai has 24 hours to taste all the foods Tbilisi’s unique streets have to offer", National Geographic website reports.

"According to an ancient Georgian legend, representatives of all the peoples came before God as He was about to distribute land to each. Only the Georgians, who were busy eating and drinking, did not attend. When they did finally appear before God, He said to them, “Now you come? I have already distributed everything”. To which the Georgians replied, “We were celebrating in Your honor with food and drink…” and they invited God to join them. God enjoyed himself so much that he gave them the plot of land that he had kept for himself. Thus it is called “God’s Acre”.

Read more.

It’s Your Second Chance to Enjoy Georgian Culture, Food, Music and Art.

a46c956ff0f82cf325d8b3ca18ef80f5 It’s Your Second Chance to Enjoy Georgian Culture, Food, Music and Art: Russian, Georgian, American Food ~ International Fall Festival hosted by Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church in Roswell, GA Saturday, September 20th 11:00-5:30p & Sunday, September 21st 11:30-5:00pm

%d bloggers like this: