There are two legends that Georgians tell to explain the creation of their country, and fascinatingly, both involve food. In the first, the Georgians claim that when God was distributing land to all the peoples of the Earth, they were too busy feasting and drinking to show up at the appointed time. When they finally arrived, they were dismayed to learn that all the land had already been given away. They explained to God the reason for their delay, and God, obviously recognizing the value of a people who would rather be feasting than fighting over land, took pity on them and gave the Georgians the part of the Earth that he had been reserving for himself - naturally, the most beautiful part. In the second legend, God took a supper break while creating the world, and became so involved with his meal that he inadvertently tripped over the high peaks of the Caucasus, spilling his food onto the land below. This land blessed by heaven's table scraps was Georgia.
With this kind of folklore behind the country, I was only too happy to accept an invitation to a Georgian Table. The term "Georgian Table" can be roughly translated as an obnoxiously large feast featuring Georgian food. Our guide and host for our adventure into Georgian cuisine was Sara, who, along with her brother Geoff, had spent several years in Georgia. She can be seen in the picture below organizing
the unsuspecting workforce some guests in preparing the dishes.
To illustrate the point about utilizing her guests, Geoff and I never even made it through the door of the house before being assigned our duties. We were to barbeque the meat (it had a Georgian name, which I will choose not to misspell for you). Apparently this was very Georgian, as the meat was only supposed to be cooked by the men and over an open fire. While we didn't use an actual open fire, I can't help but feel that the barbeque's uncontrolled flames added a measure of authenticity to the whole endeavor.
I'm not sure how authentic the rest of the preparation technique was (as evidenced by the picture below).
The meal was absolutely amazing and unending, this is apparently authentically Georgian as well. When dish after amazing dish kept appearing from the kitchen, it soon became apparent why the "volunteer" recruitment had been needed.
And as a sign of a truly good party, the fun didn't stop until we had received a warning from the landlord. The offense? Ballroom and Latin dancing in the common square between the townhouses. Although, I think she was just bitter Geoff and I hadn't asked her to go dancing by moonlight.
All in all it was an excellent night. A big thanks to Sara and everyone who helped out.