MOSCOW (AP) — Fans are sure to sample delicious food in Russia at the Confederations Cup, but chances are it’ll be from Georgia.
It’s not southern soul food, though.
The Georgia in question is an ex-Soviet country of just under 4 million people in the Caucasus region whose rich and hearty food and wine has conquered the hearts of many Russians.
Traditional dishes like khachapuri — cheese-stuffed bread — and juicy khinkali dumplings are longstanding Russian favorites. The fruity, full-bodied wines have cemented Georgian cuisine’s status as Russia’s go-to foreign food, like Chinese and Mexican dishes in the U.S. or Indian food in Britain.
“It’s very rich in taste and varied,” says Mirza Ormosadze, who runs a newly-opened restaurant on one of Moscow’s broad central avenues. “It’s all about the spices, which we bring in specially from Georgia.”
Georgian restaurants are everywhere in Russia’s four Confederations Cup cities, but you might struggle to find traditional Russian soups and stews.
After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Russian cuisine suddenly faced a legion of then-exotic foreign rivals. It’s largely been…