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April 18, 2006


Raspberry Sour

Ok, you have got to stop raiding the Sour Patch family brain. First, it was the references to Paula Wolfert, then along came the Little House memories, and now this- khmeli suneli. My mom is a big fan of Georgian cooking, and I grew up on the spice. Now I get her to ship it to me across the country (/raid her cabinets whenever I'm home).

BTW, the Georgians are big on giving long, ancedote-laden toasts, so you'll have to work some into your next Georgian feast.


Rasp: Can I please raid the family brain once more to ask you 2 questions?
1) From where does she ship it? Does she blend it herself, and if so
2) Does it have utskho suneli in it, and if so, where does she get that?

Okay, a minimum of 4 questions, I admit.
I'm warming up for a Georgian toast.

Raspberry Sour

Hi Lindy, pick away! I will see what I can find out for you.

Cheers, RS


This is so interesting and, although I have not yet found a supplier of fresh utskho suneli I can offer your uk readers The Spice Shop at http://www.thespiceshop.co.uk/index.htm. If anyone is strolling donw Portobello Road they will find it there, just opposite Books for Cooks you lucky people.


PS Here be seeds http://www.sandmountainherbs.com/trefoil_sweetcurb_herb.html


Thanks June- I'm going to order some seeds, I think, just to see if I can grow some in one of my larger pots, gardenless as I am. That spice shop looks wonderful!


Excellent post, Lindy. Khmeli suneli sounds perfectly savoury, just the thing for a lovely stew.

I think cutting a chicken into 12 pieces is quite an accomplishment. Well done! None of the slashing and hacking I tend to inflict on chickens would impress a Georgian, or anybody else, for that matter.

Baking Soda

oh my! The most exotic ingredients to be found here! First the dandelions and now utshko suneli... Last year we had quite a lot very stubborn dandelions in our "lawn" (think soccerfield for the boys) do you think I could harvest them? And I am really jealous of your library...they supply you with an awesome supply of cookbooks.


I just looked up from my books long enough to read your lovely post. I have yet to expand on my single Georgian food experience, but just as soon as I allow myself back into the kitchen I really must! I'm particularly grateful to your commenter June for bringing The Spice Shop to my attention - I had always assumed I'd have to go without Khmeli Suneli when the time came to try some of the mounting Georgian recipes, so I'm thrilled to see it's available from a supplier here in the UK.

I've been seeing Georgian recipes popping up in more and more books, most recently in Diana Henry's new book 'Roast Figs, Sugar Snow'. Have you had a look at Darra Goldstein's book, by the way?


Tania-You are very kind. I am not a big fan of wrangling raw chicken myself. I will not attempt more than 12 pieces, I'll tell you that! My daughter claims that it was the texture of raw chicken that turned her into a vegetarian.

B.Soda-Why not try the dandelions on your lawn-as long as you don't have chemical spray or anything like that? I'm not so sure I'd want to try the ones on the lawns around here-like Kimberly's, they are a bit furry. If the dandelions are not young and tender, most recipes suggest some serious par-boiling.

Melissa-Ack, I can't believe I now crave 2 more cookbooks. I hadn't seen either of those you mention...but now I've been to Amazon to look...there is no end to this cookbook obsession. Alas.
BTW, I just made a Georgian spinach-walnut pate/spread which was very good and extremely simple to do. I hope to get a post up in a few days. It does seem that Georgian recipes are turning up more and more.
Good luck with the dissertation.


My daughter claims that it was the texture of raw chicken that turned her into a vegetarian.

She does not! But I love you anyway, fabulatrix.


Truly, redfox. I recall it well-visiting you in Providence-just after you moved, and you talked about cooking chicken all the time, when you had been cooking for everyone in the big house....and how you hated to handle the raw chicken , and you just didn't want to do that any more..... and you weren't going to eat meat. I'm not making this up!

Though you deny me, I love you anyway, too!


Could the marigold in question be a "pot marigold"? It could very well be calendula - aka pot marigold - which is edible. You can find that from Sanfrancisco Herb Co I think..... I used to buy it from them for my soap and also for tea.... :) It also grows like crazy once you get it started in your garden.


Diane-I'm not at all sure about this,seems possible.
June-I ordered a small package of blue-white seeds and am going to plant them in a little pot. I seem to have gone round the bend on this topic. We'll see if it will grow for me.
BTW-Apparantly this plant has another, entirely unrelated culinary use-in swiss baked goods!

Raspberry Sour

Ok, it seems that kmhelli sunelli is as difficult to get as you've already experienced, Lindy. I had no idea, since I grew up in a kitchen where it's never far away. My mother tells me she used to mix her own, but that now, the best place to get it is a Russian grocery store/deli. I'm not sure where you live, Lindy, but if you have any Russian stores, check those out. My mom tells me it's not the best mix, but once she's added a little cumin and ground pepper to what she's bought, it's basically done.

Hope that helps, and I'm looking forward to reading more of your Georgian adventures. Some of my favourite dishes have always come out of Please to the Table, so enjoy!


R.S.:I wonder what your mother would think of the blend I got via ebay. I have my little seed packet, and planted a small pot up. Maybe I should try growing some marigolds too.I believe this behavior on my part is sometimes referred to as "obsessive."


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It's the marigold that is so totally not available in the USA. And you can't just grow your own flower-garden variety (ask me how I know). I wish Penzeys would get some, I keep asking but no result so far. I find locally available fenugreek to be adequate for the "foreign spice" in Georgian cooking though I didn't know until now that it is not exactly the same. I have only been to Georgia once but fell in love with the food!


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I think this part is the most delicious"his is what happens to me when I take funny looking cookbooks out of the library. I just wanted to know what this flavor was like. But I wanted to know badly. The first thing I found out was that not only are powdered fenugreek leaves/petals pretty sparsely "available", but powdered marigold is not exactly all over the supermarket shelves either"
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