A popular sweet snack in Georgia is Churchkhela.
Nicknamed the "Georgian Snickers", Churchkhela is a string of nuts covered in a thickened sweet grape juice with a slightly rubbery texture.
You will find them hanging outside many shops or being sold at markets, from stalls in the streets or by elderly ladies in underpasses. When they are hanging together, they resemble sausages hanging outside a butcher's shop. You will find them in various shades of brown, red and black.
I tried Churchkhela a couple of times during our visit to Georgia in February 2013. First, I was given a piece to sample at "Coffee House" cafe in Tbilisi and then I bought a full one from a lady at a stall outside Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta.
We paid 3 GEL (£1.20) for the Churchkhela in Mtskheta and another 3 GEL for a folded sheet of grape candy, similar to the exterior of the Churchkhela but thinner. I suspect we were overcharged – not least because the lady we bought them from gave us a couple of complimentary smaller Churchkhela when we walked past her again a short while later!
They are very nice. If I lived in Georgia (or one of the other countries in eastern Europe and the Middle East that sell similar products), I would happily eat them as an alternative to chocolate bars.
Another feature unknown in Western Europe is about electric meters : instead of being inside each house (or each building), it is directly affixed on the electric poles. I have seen that everywhere in Georgia and this is not special to Mstkheta.
The butcher’s is very different of what we are used to see in Western Europe. It is more a booth that a shop. There does not seem to be any fridge : the meat proposed in the morning has to be sold before the end of the afternoon.
On Saturday the old capital was flooded by people in gowns and fancy dresses. They did not appear to be tightening the knot there but for sure they received some blessings. The cacophony was fed by another stream of festivities - baptisms. The fortunate babies were striped and bathed in views of the relatives till they felt the union with the right God.