Georgian cheese

Georgian tradition of cheese making counts more than 80 centuries. This is evidenced by the pottery for the cheese manufacturing, found in archeological excavations, which are stored in the Mtskheta Museum.


Georgia is in the top ten of "cheese" countries and makes about 250 kinds of this product, but only 14 varieties of Georgian cheese are registered officially. There are 80 thousand tons of cheese produced in the country annually, and 80% from all are popular cheese sulguni and Imeretian. These particular kinds are often used in Georgian dishes, including khachapuri.


Modern Georgian cheese industry continues developing. The unique recipes old and rare cheeses were restored, and new kinds are created and the range of this everyone's favorite dairy product expands.


In anticipation of the annual Cheese festival we present you the most popular Georgian cheeses:




(with or without holes, "Chkinti kveli" or "Imeruli")

Location: Western Georgia, Imereti

A young lightly salted cow milk cheese. Is prepared from the fresh, not boiled milk, that preserves its wholesome features. It refers to "not processed" type of cheese.

Hint: Goes well with red and pink wine, as well as with fresh vegetables.



Location: Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti

The famous cheese Sulguni is a pickled, young plastic cheese with a layered structure, made from cow's or Buffalo's milk. It is prepared by mixing the young Imeretian cheese in the whey. This cheese has also a smoked variety.

Hint: Goes perfect with red wine. You can also fry the pieces of Sulguni, which were previously rolled in flour.

Interesting: Sulguni occupies the 10th place out of 12 on the world's cheese map. The word "Sulguni" consists of two words - "Suli" and "Guli", which is translated from Georgian as - heart and soul.



(with holes and yellowish heart)

Location: the mountainous regions, Tusheti

Guda is the sheep milk cheese, prepared almost by the same technology as Imeretian. Further, it is stored in a sheep's skin during 20 days, which is sometimes buried in the ground, after which the cheese obtains specific flavor.

Hint: Goes perfect with white wine. You can also eat Guda with bread and fresh tarragon.



(blue cheese)

Location: the mountainous regions, Pshavi and Mtiuleti

The most expensive type of Georgian cheese. It differs from the European cheese "Camembert" by the presence of penicillin and the method of natural molding.

The balls of curd cheese are dried and lightly smoked. Then they are put in a clay pot, where they are covered with a dark mould crisp.

Hint: Goes well with fruit vodka and red wine. You can melt this cheese with butter and dip pieces of bread in prepared gravy.



Location: the mountainous regions, Tusheti

Fatty cheese made from sheep's milk, taken in July or August. The young cheese is kept for several days in wooden barrels. Then the ripened cheese is kneaded again, salted and put into a sheep's skin for 2 months.

Hint: Goes perfect with white wine and fresh vegetables.



Location: Adjara and Samtskhe-Javakheti region

Chechili (Chlechili) is produced in summer from the skimmed cow's milk. Compressed cheese is stored in special boxes, in a cool place, for about 2 months.

Most frequently, Chechili is served as cheese strips, sometimes woven together, or shredded into thin strings. This cheese has also a smoked variety.

Hint: Can be scald or fried in butter.



Location: Samtskhe-Javakheti

The oldest type of cheese made from sheep's milk with a unique and complex manufacturing technology. The recipe of Tenili passed from mouth to mouth and preserved only in distant villages of Georgia.

Its basis is the curd for Chechili. Traditionally, Tenili is prepared for the winter.

"Dvrita" or "kveti" starters, made from parts of brined and dried calf's stomach, are used for the milk clotting.

During the cooking process, the cheese is stuffed and pressed into a clay pot - "Tenili" (from Georgian stuffed, pressed) for ripening. Where cheese matures for about 2 months.

Interesting: Tenili is listed in the list of intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO. Usually the pot with Tenili was opened only on great holidays, its presence at the feast was considered a luxury, demonstrating the material prosperity of a family.



Location: the mountainous regions, Tusheti

Kalti is prepared from Nadugi - a creamy quark cheese from the whey clot. Shepherds used to take hardened Kalti with them on the road. Cheese stills hunger well and has antiseptic qualities.

Hint: Goes well with nuts and honey, berries, fruits, and dessert wine. Goes great with beer as a snack.



Location: the mountainous regions, Kazbegi

Cheese made from skimmed or partially skimmed cow's milk with added sheep's milk.

Hint: Goes well with freshly baked "Lavash" bread from "Tone" (Georgian tandoor).




Manufacturing and origin of these types of cheese are associated with an interesting historical fact. Due to the absence of fridge, Sulguni was kept in the honey, chacha or wine to prevent spoiling.

Cheese with spices, herbs, paprika and other additives appeared quite recently.


 Gray pyramid  "Kanko"  Svan sulguni  Sulguni in red wine 

 Meskhetian cheese

with bell pepper,



 Cheese assorti  Cheese in white wine   "Tibaanuri"

 Honey balls with pepper,

savory and mix



with sesame,

with pepper in beer


Cheese shops in Tbilisi.