Ark of taste
Back to the archive >

Churchkhela, a traditional Georgian sweet, is made from walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cleaned pumpkin seeds and various dried fruit strung on a thread and then dipped into condensed grape or mulberry juice for several times. The length of standard churchkhela is 20-35 cm, with a diameter of 1.5-4 cm. The condensed fruit juice and dried fruits, nuts and seeds have a pleasant sweet taste. The consistency of the finished product is soft, dense and elastic.   Producing churchkhela begins with making the fruit juice that will be used for dipping. To make the condensed juice, grape or mulberry juice is heated on the fire to boiling. Then some flour is stirred in and the heating process is continued until the juice reaches the desired thickness. In the case of juice from the eastern Georgia (the areas of Kakheti, Kartli or Meskheti), wheat flour is used, and the finished condensed juice is called tatara. Wheat flour is also used for making condensed mulberry juice in the area of Samtskhe-Javakheti. Corn flour is used in western Georgia (the areas of Racha, Lechkhumi, Guria, Samegrelo, Abkhazia or Achara), and this condensed grape juice is called pelamushi.   The walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cleaned pumpkin seeds and various dried fruit pieces are prepared by being strung on a thread and lowered down into the tatara,pelamushi or mulberry juice, and then hung to dry. The churchkhela is complete when it is finally dry after several days. It is usually produced in the autumn months, to coincide with the ripening of the nuts and harvest of the grapes. The grapes used for the preparation of condensed grape juice (tatara or pelamushi) must be from the following Georgian vineyards: Kakheti; Lechkhumi, Kartli, Guria, Meskheti, Samegrelo, Imereti, Abkhazia, Racha or Adjara In the case of mulberry churchkhela, juice from mulberries grown in the territory of Samtskhe-Javakheti is used. Production of churchkhela is admissible beyond its vineyard zone, but only in the territory of Georgia.   While churchkhela is still produced and sold in Georgia today, it is important to draw attention to the artisanal production methods connected to this food tradition. Churchkhela should be recognized as being made only using specific ingredients with a connection to the local territory, and not imported grape or mulberry juice or lower quality ingredients, or with production made outside of Georgia and sold as authentic churchkhela.

Back to the archive >




Other info


Cakes, pastries and sweets

Nominated by:Tania Melnykova