Food, Republic of Georgia, Village Life


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One Georgian food that I must mention is pelamushi.

Is that not an appetizing name? It can also be called “tatara” but I am not sure if that is any better.

I have now had pelamushi three times. In short, pelamushi is grape juice, sugar, and flour. I would also suspect corn starch, but that is not something I am going to be able to ask in Georgian. It is a purple and gelatinous. It can be made into bars, but it also seems to be more commonly poured onto saucers where is solidifies (or congeals) into something approaching very solid jello.

The taste? It is not bad, but neither is it something that satisfies my particular sweet tooth. It tastes like sugary, slightly flour-y, grape cake. Think grape Turkish Delight.

The Georgians are eager to know if pelamushi exists in California. No, I say emphatically, it does not. There is nothing in California like pelamushi. We have grapes. We have grape juice. But we do not have pelamushi. They are eager to teach me the making of pelamushi that I might share this treat with California, no, the rest of America! I am not opposed to learning to make pelamushi. Apparently it is something only women make. Teach me this secret Georgian womanly art of pelamushi!

Then I will force feed it to all of you when I get home!


3 thoughts on “Pelamushi

  1. Caroline says:

    OK – here’s a challenge. I am going on the trail of pelamushi – I’ll check the international stores here & see if it really does exist in Ca.
    Amy – keep blogging, this is most brilliant!
    Lots of love,
    Caroline x

  2. Jason says:

    I just had this last night! I was a bit terrified of what it could be until they said that it was grape juice and whatever was used to make it congeal. My brother and sister were excited for it, but, like you, I was not all that impressed. It was ok, but not something I would fantasize about.

  3. irina says:

    Dear Amy,
    I came accross your blog as I was looking for a pelamushi recipe online – I am from Georgia, have spent summers in Sachere region, and have most nostalgic memories of pelamushi of my childhood. I live abroad now and making , as I am writing, pelamushi. As all I can find here is supermarket-bought grape juiceand the results are far from the real thing – hence my search online for pelamushi wisdom. I cannot say I found any – but I think it will be interesting for you to know, that there is an American food writer Darra Goldstein and a wonderful book of hers “The Georgian Feast”. It is about food and culture and ethnography of Georgia and about ways to cook Gerogian dishes(including pelamushi) in the States. I bought this book in Tbilisi, in “Prospero Books” a few years ago and I am pretty sure it is still available.

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