Khachapuri (Georgian: ხაჭაპური [xɑtʃʼɑpʼuri] from ხაჭო xach’o “curds” + პური p’uri “bread”) is a traditional Georgian dish of cheese-filled bread. The bread is leavened and allowed to rise, and is shaped in various ways, usually with cheese in the middle and a crust which is ripped off and used to dip in the cheese. The filling contains cheese (fresh or aged, most commonly sulguni), eggs and other ingredients. It is Georgia’s national dish.
According to a 2009 survey, 88% of Georgians prefer khachapuri to pizza. It is more popular among men and older people. As a Georgian staple food, the price of making khachapuri is used as a measure of inflation in different Georgian cities by the Khachapuri index, developed by the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University.
Types of Khachapuri
There are several distinctive types of khachapuri in Georgian food from different regions of Georgia:
- Imeretian (Imeruli) khachapuri, which is circular and probably the most common type.
- Adjarian (Acharuli/Adjaruli) khachapuri, in which the dough is formed into an open boat shape and the hot pie is topped with a raw egg and a pat of butter before serving.
- Mingrelian (Megruli) khachapuri, similar to Imeritian but with more cheese added on top.
- Achma, from Abkhazia, which has multiple layers and looks more like a sauceless lasagna.
- Gurian (Guruli) khachapuri has boiled eggs inside the dough and looks like a calzone. Arguably, it is not a type of khachapuri. Gurians make them for Christmas and call them simply ‘Christmas pie’. In the rest of Georgia, it is called ‘Gurian pie’.
- Ossetian (Osuri) khachapuri, which has potato, as well as cheese in its filling. It is commonly called Khabizgini.
- Svanuri khachapuri
- Rachuli khachapuri
- Penovani khachapuri is made with puff pastry dough, resulting in a flaky variety of the pie.
Outside of Georgia
Khachapuri is popular in the post-Soviet states, including in Russia. It was reported that 175,000 khachapuris were consumed during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Khachapuri is a popular street food in Armenia, where it is widely served at restaurants and school cafeterias. It has become increasingly popular as a brunch food in Israel.