Archives for posts with tag: ice cream

Inspired by my friend Chloe’s monthly food favorites, I’m going to start profiling my favorite new things in Georgia each season. See all my past favorites here. I’ll try to focus on things, people, places, and organizations that are brand new, but it’s possible that I’ll be late to the party on something, or there’s something that’s just new-to-me and so amazing that I’ll still choose to include it. I don’t mean to be solely food-focused, but that seems to happen sometimes…

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Clockwise from top left: Wearing a dress from DeFacto and modelling Siakhle Cola; a pistachio ice cream cone; Krik Brewing Company, probably the best microbrewery, and Georgian olive oil

Georgian Olive OilGeorgian olive oil (produced near Sighnaghi, if I’m not mistaken) hit the shelves at the beginning of this summer, and it was the perfect accompaniment to all the fresh tomatoes! It’s the highest quality olive oil I’ve found on shelves here, but the price is mid-market. Good enough to dip tonis puri into, with no other seasonings.

Craft beer: The craft beer revolution made it to Georgia!   Krik Brewing Company makes some really delicious beers (and I don’t even really like beer). One was orange-y and one was chocolate-y and tasting them was quite fun. Black Dog Bar and Burgio are also both in on the game,and recommended for a casual night out.

Pistachio Ice Cream: I’ve been begging for pistachio ice cream (one of my favorites) every since I visited Turkey and saw all the options there. (I have a strong memory of eating pistachio ice cream in front of the Hagia Sophia on my trip to Istanbul, even). Angelato and Luca Polare ice cream shops stock it sometimes, and you can pick up some Tolia at the grocery store.

Rafting: We had a work team-building event at the Georgian Rafting Federation’s base near Borjomi, and  it was AMAZING. There are also supposed to be options along the road to Kazbegi and in mountainous Ajara. The experience outside Borjomi was fantastic–highly recommended! (I’m not sure if it was a miscommunication or not, but our fee didn’t include transportation back to the base where we had left all our stuff. It was a bit of a long walk, and some of our co-workers were sopping wet, so we wound up “making memories” with some slightly sketchy hitchhiking).

Siakhle Cola: I’m not sure if this is new or regional (the label said “Made in Zestaponi”),  but I bought it from a nice old man along the side of the road through mountainous Ajara, and it’s the best non-Coca Cola cola I’ve ever had. Pleasantly cinnamon-y and all-around refreshing.

DeFacto clothing company and other Turkish clothing brands: Usually I import my clothes from the US, but I have gotten some great bargains on decent-quality stuff at De Facto lately. In fact(o), I loved the dress I bought so much, I went back and bought it in all the other colors they had in stock in my size. I did, however, find that I wore drastically different sizes in dresses and t-shirts, so it’s worth taking a few minutes to try things on.

Dishonorable mention: Forest fires, yikes!

If you have any suggestions for something new and great in Georgia, let me know–I’ll try to check it out, and perhaps it will make a future favorites list.

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Inspired by my friend Chloe’s monthly food favorites, I’m going to start profiling my favorite new things in Georgia each season. I’ll try to focus on things, people, places, and organizations that are brand new, but it’s possible that I’ll be late to the party on something, or there’s something that’s just new-to-me and so amazing that I’ll still choose to include it. There have been lots of new Georgian food products hitting stores this year, and there are constantly new restaurants and cafes opening in Tbilisi, so there’s a bit of a food theme (this time, at least), though I am willing to branch out.

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Clockwise from top left: Bubble Tea, Frixx Caucasus Chips: Tarragon Flavor, AlterSocks assortment, Chirifruit Carrots in Chocolate

Barambo Export Fig Ice Cream Barambo has been my favorite ice cream brand since my first summer in Georgia, but this year they really upped their game. The fig flavor is simply marvelous. I don’t know how to describe it other than delicious. (Widely available)

Chirifruit Carrots in Chocolate “chiri” means dried fruit, and this company is taking traditional Georgian dried fruit (which you can buy pretty much anywhere) to another level. They sell prettily arranged gift packs of dried fruit, and have some chocolate-dipped versions, a tasty innovation that I haven’t seen anyone at the bazaar selling. I spotted the label “Carrots in Chocolate”, and I had to try them. I’m very glad I did! It’s some sweet, dried, carroty-mush on a stick, dipped in chocolate. Maybe it doesn’t sound so good, but it tastes great! They’ve got the texture just right, and it’s sweet but not too. I haven’t seen this brand many places, but there’s usually a wide variety of their offerings at the Smart on Rustaveli (that’s where I got the carrots).

Frixx Caucasus Chips: Tarragon Flavor this brand entered the market last year, but this summer they introduced a tarragon flavor, and it’s my favorite! Crispy and salty chips with a bit of sweet and sour tarragon flavor–the combination works perfectly! (They’re also supporting local agriculture, so that’s a win, too.) (Widely available)

RealThai brand products (including noodles, sauces, and coconut milk) have been showing up regularly at my local supermarket, and I’ve even spotted their products at other little marketi in my not-so-posh neighborhood. They’re surprisingly widely available! It’s been a really nice way to expand my cooking repertoire this summer with Thai-style curries and oatmeal soaked in coconut milk.

Bubble Tea Tbilisi  I fell in love with bubble tea as a college student in the Boston area, and haven’t had any since I moved away, so I was delighted when I heard a bubble tea place was opening in Tbilisi. It might not satisfy those from Taiwan, but the tea I ordered hit the spot for me. The menu is extensive (though I stuck to the basics), and the boba was neither too slimy nor too tough. I’ve always loved the chunky, colorful straws that they give you to slurp up the bubbles–they make me smile. Definitely a nice change of pace. (7 Chavchavadze Avenue, Vake; next to the big Biblus)

AlterSocks Georgian-made fun socks! When I heard about these, I immediately went on a quest to find them. I failed finding the Tbilisi Mall location the first time (it’s behind the escalator in the atrium area), so I made a trek to Vake to pick some up in the Pixel Building. They have both Georgian and international designs, but the Georgian ones appealed to me most–khachapuri, khinkali, and a chokha! (And you thought those J. Crew taco socks were cool…) The fabric fells nice and soft, and the size that was supposed to fit me did.  Friends and family back in the US, don’t be surprised if Santa brings you some of these this year. (kiosks at 3 major shopping centers: Tbilisi Mall, Pixel Building Vake, and the shopping center with the Saburtalo Goodwill)

Batumi Dolphinarium  I went for the first time this summer, and the show was just amazing. It made me want to quit my job and become a dolphin trainer. Tickets sell out fast, so you need to buy them the day before, if not earlier. You can give the neighboring aquarium a miss, though. My friend described it, quite accurately, as “some dude’s dirty fish tank collection”. (51 Rustaveli Street, Batumi)

If you have any suggestions for something new and great in Georgia, let me know–I’ll try to check it out, and perhaps it will make a future favorites list.

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