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更新时间:2017-12-15 13:12:10 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Georgia's addictive cousin to pizza

Khachapuri, a gooey, addictive, cheese-stuffed flatbread, is ubiquitous in Georgia, the Caucasian country that shares borders with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey. Except for when there’s a funeral.


“If you’re in a bad mood or sad, when you’re grieving the death of a loved one or have a broken heart, you should never even touch dough; just stay away from it,” said my friend Mako Kavtaradze, a born-and-bred resident of the capital, Tbilisi, and executive director of Georgian spice company Spy Recipe. “If you’re not in a happy mood, we will be able to tell when we taste the khachapuri that you make.”

"若是心爱之人不幸离世,你定会悲痛不已甚至心碎,在这种心情低落或内心悲伤的时候,你绝对不应该接触面团;离面团越远越好,"我的朋友马科·卡夫塔拉泽(Mako Kavtaradze)说道,"如果你心情不好,我们在品尝你做的哈切布里后就会感受得到。"他在首都第比利斯(Tbilisi)出生长大,是格鲁吉亚调味品公司Spy Recipe的执行董事。

We were eating one of these dairy-and-carb bombs at a roadside restaurant on the Rikoti Pass in central Georgia, not far from the town of Surami, home to an ancient Jewish community. This version was from the nearby region of Imereti: a one-inch-thick, double-crusted wheel of dough stuffed with soft, molten cheese.

当时,我们正在位于格鲁吉亚中部瑞克提山口(Rikoti Pass)的一家路边餐馆里吃着这种富含碳水化合物的乳制味蕾炸弹。那里距离苏拉姆小镇(Surami)不远,是古犹太人聚居地。这款哈切布里源于伊梅列季(Imereti)附近地区:双层面团成车轮形状,厚度一英寸,填充的是柔软的融化奶酪。

But I was doubtful of Kavtaradze’s claim about the connection between human emotions and cheese bread.


To prove her point, Kavtaradze stood up from the table and started walking toward the kitchen. “C’mon,” she said. “I’m going to show you the woman who made this, and I guarantee you she will be as happy as this khachapuri is delicious.”


In the back of the kitchen, a rotund woman was sitting in a chair with a pile of freshly kneaded dough next to her, rolling balls of sallty sulguni cheese for khachapuri. She looked up and flashed a large smile at us, two strangers who probably shouldn’t have just barged into her work space. “See,”  Kavtaradze said. “She’s happy.”


If khachapuri is made by happy people, it also makes its consumers very content. It’s the perfect comfort food.


In Georgia, one is never further than a ball-of-dough’s throw from khachapuri. Everything from corner bakeries to upscale restaurants serve the snack. And while certain versions of it are pizza-like, a recent poll found that 88% of Georgians still prefer it to pizza. In fact, khachapuri is so popular that economists have coined the term Khachapuri Index, inspired by the Big Mac Index once created by the Economist. In this Caucasian case, Georgian economists monitor inflation by tracking the production and consumption of the main ingredients in khachapuri: flour, cheese, butter, eggs, milk and yeast.

在格鲁吉亚,哈切布里一直在人们的视线之内,距离甚至不超过球形面团摔打的距离。小到街角的面包店,大到高档餐厅,所有地方都供应这种美味。虽然某些款式的外观与披萨大同小异,但最近的一项民意调查显示,88%的格鲁吉亚人还是更喜欢哈切布里奶酪烤饼。事实上,因为哈切布里太受欢迎,所以经济学家受到《经济学人》推出的"巨无霸指数"(Big Mac Index)的启发,创造了哈切布里指数(Khachapuri Index)。格鲁吉亚经济学家在高加索国家背景下,通过跟踪哈切布里主要原料的生产和消费情况对通货膨胀进行监控:面粉、奶酪、黄油、鸡蛋、牛奶和酵母。

Despite khachapuri’s importance to Georgian cuisine, however, food scholars and historians can’t seem to agree on its origins. But according to Dali Tsatava, food writer and former professor of gastronomy at the Georgian Culinary Academy in Tbilisi, khachapuri could be a cousin to pizza. “Roman soldiers were coming through the Black Sea area and brought with them recipes for something that resembled pizza,” she said as we sat in a cafe in central Tbilisi. “Tomatoes didn’t exist in Europe until the 16th Century, so it was just baked bread and cheese, not unlike khachapuri.”

虽然哈切布里在格鲁吉亚的美食中占据重要地位,但食品学家和历史学家对其起源看法不一。美食评论家兼第比利斯格鲁吉亚烹饪学院的前美食学教授达利·契塔瓦(Dali Tsatava)认为,哈切布里可能与披萨同属一类。"罗马军队穿过黑海地区,带来了类似披萨制作的食谱。"我们坐在第比利斯市中心的咖啡馆喝咖啡时,她这么说,""直到十六世纪,欧洲才出现西红柿,所以只能用奶酪烤面包,哈切布里由此形成。

Nearly all of Georgia’s regions have their own variation of khachapuri, which directly translates as cottage-cheese bread, since the often used chkinti cheese is curdy. I primarily tried the most popular type, Imeruli (from the region of Imereti), which from a distance looks a lot like pizza bianca. But during my week there, I also sampled kubdari at Aripana in Tbislisi, a meat-stuffed version from the Svaneti region; gorged on Megruli khachapuri from the Samegrelo region, which is filled with cheese (like Imeruli khachapuri) and then topped with more melted cheese; and devoured a version stuffed with spinach and potato puree called Khabidzgina khachapuri. It all became a delicious daze of baked bread and cheese made by apparently happy and satisfied Georgians.

几乎所有的格鲁吉亚地区都流行不同款式的哈切布里,直译为松软干酪面包,原因是通常使用凝乳状的赫金蒂(Chkinti)奶酪。我重点品尝的伊梅列季哈切布里(Imeruli Khachapuri,源于伊梅列季地区)是最流行的款式,远看酷似披萨比安卡。我在那里待了一周,还在第比利斯品尝了一款肉馅哈切布里,源于斯瓦涅季(Svaneti)地区;品尝了萨梅格列罗(Samegrelo)地区的明格雷利亚哈切布里(Megruli khachapuri),先由奶酪填充(类似于伊梅列季哈切布里),然后淋上更多融化的奶酪;品尝了一款菠菜和土豆泥馅的哈切布里(Khabidzgina Khachapuri)。这可真是一场视觉与味觉双重享受的奶酪面包盛宴,制作这些面包的显然都是快乐知足的格鲁吉亚人。

Tsatava echoed what Kavtaradze had said earlier: “You can guess the character of the baker who made the khachapuri. It’s like a mirror for one’s emotions.”


But, according to pretty much everyone I talked to, happiness is not the only quality needed for producing next-level khachapuri. As Kavtaradze told me one day while we were walking down Tbilisi’s bustling Rustaveli Avenue, “You have to talk to your khachapuri.” I gave her a quizzical look. “When you’re kneading the dough, for example, you have to verbally finesse it; talk to it like it’s your baby.”

但是,和我交谈的每一个人几乎都对我说,要想制作出更高水平的哈切布里不仅仅需要快乐。有一天,我同卡夫塔拉泽走在第比利斯繁华的韦利大道(Rustaveli Avenue)上,她对我说,"你必须和你做的哈切布里谈心。"我面露疑惑,"例如,揉面团的时候,你必须不断地夸奖,就像夸你的孩子一样夸它。"

I put this to the test at Sakhachapuren No 1, a subterranean spot in central Tbilisi that is comfy but modern at the same time, where chef Maka Chikhiashvili had agreed to teach me how to make a version called Adjaruli khachapuri. The boat-like shape of the bread, which acts as a basin for molten cheese, is no coincidence. As Chikhiashvili handed me an apron, she said that Adjaruli khachapuri reflects the region’s geography and culture. “Adjara is on the Black Sea, and this is the reason the bread is in the shape of a boat. The egg represents the sun and the cheese is the sea. The people of this region were great boat builders.”

我在第比利斯中部的Sakhachapuren No 1尝试学做哈切布里,这里十分隐蔽,但是非常舒适,充满现代感。厨师马卡·奇希亚什维利(Maka Chikhiashvili)答应教我制作一款阿扎尔哈切布里(Adjaruli khachapuri)。面包的形状像一只船,船里盛着融化的奶酪,之所以做成船的形状并非偶然。奇希亚什维利递给我一个围裙时,说阿扎尔哈切布里(Adjaruli khachapuri)反映了该地区的地形和文化。"阿扎尔自治共和国濒临黑海,所以面包的形状像一只船。鸡蛋象征太阳,奶酪象征大海。这个地区的人民是伟大的造船者。"

She grabbed a softball-sized hunk of dough and began kneading it, eventually making it flat, as she mumbled away. I asked Kavtaradze what she was saying to the dough. “It’s…” she paused. “It’s too personal. I can’t translate it.”


A few seconds later it was my turn. I took a deep breath and tried to get in touch with my inner tranquillity. I began flattening it out and remembered I needed to talk to it, reminding myself to think of the dough as a baby. “You’re such a good piece of dough,” I said. Everyone in the kitchen nodded in approval. “Who’s a good dough? That’s right; you are!” Eventually I formed the dough into an oval and then tapered both ends. The chef lent a hand to get it into the right shape.


With a long pizza peel, I deposited the flatbreads into the oven. The chef held up five fingers for the number of minutes it should bake for. In the meantime, Chikhiashvili elaborated on the care needed to make khachapuri: “We have five women making our dough and khachapuri here,” she said. “If one or two of them to come to work in a bad mood, they are put on another duty. The dough will be too heavy and not soft or as elastic as it should be.”


A few minutes later, we were scraping the excess dough from the inside of the partially baked boat, creating a kind of interior rim around the edges. Then we added the cheese, making sure it was nearly overflowing. After going back in the oven for about four more minutes, the only thing left to do was crack a raw egg on top, add a plus-sized dollop of butter, stir it in, and commence eating one of the most delicious things on the planet.


I tore off a piece of the crunchy bread, starting with one of the tapered ends, dipped it into the eggy, buttery, utterly gooey cheese, and took a bite.


I looked at the chef and said, “You must be a very happy person.”