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Churchkhela - A Sweet From The Caucasus

Georgian Churchkhela

Today I’m going to tell you about a  Georgian sweet that a relative of mine recently brought us from the Caucasus. Despite its name, it has nothing to do with the church; it is a sausage-shaped sweet that (to my mind) looks a little bit gross yet tastes good.

Churchkhela is made by dipping strings of nuts or dried fruits into thickened grape juice with addition of flour; then Churchkhelas are dried in the sun or in a dry ventilated place. The grape juice that coats the filling is rubbery and very dense; it has a mildly sweet flavour and a subtle fruity smell.

This sweet is also made in Armenia, I’ve eaten it in the Crimea, and I’ve heard that they have an analogous sweet in Turkey. The variety I’ve had in the Crimea had a thinner coating of juice and was coloured into bright yellow, red, or purple. The Churchkhela I got from Georgia looks more natural, and the thickened juice is more tender. This variety has walnuts inside:

Walnut Churchkhela

Each Churchkhela has a funny “tail”:

Georgian Churchkhela

The string can be easily pulled out before you eat the sweet. You can either bite into the whole Churchkhela or cut it into small pieces:

Churchkhela

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Category: Product Reviews, The Caucasus

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29 Responses

  1. Looks interesting, like a sausage. Never seen it before, or maybe I did and thought it was sausage:)

    • Alina says:

      Three-Cookies, hehe yes I thought these were sausages when I first saw them in the Crimea :) I thought something like “hmm, yellow sausages, strange” :D

    • Ionut says:

      The answer seems to lie in the way a “close fnierd” was defined. It required high levels of trust and frequent interaction and yet it included a phrase people who are not your relatives.” There is a high chance that older women in rural areas communicate primarily with their relatives from extended families. The same logic may also apply to the female relationships in the capital: married women are expected to abandon most of their pre-marriage fnierdships to attend to their families and care for their children, an obligation they carry for the rest of their lives. In any case, by the time their children turn into adults, those women have no more fnierds left other than their immediate and extended families.Nikki

    • Gee willikers, that’s such a great post!

  2. Colleen says:

    YUM! I must try this! though I feel that mine will have more than just a funny tail :D

  3. kat says:

    looks interesting!

  4. Thats an interesting sweet which looks like non-vegetarian food :) Glad you shared the info.

    • Alina says:

      Thank you Tanvi! Yes these sweets are actually vegan while they look like sausage :))

      • Jedrick says:

        Dear Nikola,Thank you for your article. You mnoiten that ethnic Armenians are more likely to permanently migrate from Georgia than other ethnic groups in the country. I am curious as to whether you have data on the migration habits of other ethnic minorities (besides Armenians and Azeris) from Georgia and how you account for this. Any other data regarding the demographics of minority migrations from Georgia would be greatly appreciated.Many thanks,Rachel(rakheliani@gmail.com)

      • health poor says:

        This does look promising. I’ll keep coming back for more.

  5. That is soooooo interesting and looks tasty. LOVE your site. It really broadens my horizons. :)

    • Alina says:

      Awww thank you Jenny :-* I’ve been swamped with work (and housework) recently so I’m reviewing interesting products while I have no new recipes to share :-)

  6. T K says:

    I know them. They are delicious! Where can I get them in the USA or Canada?

  7. Yuliya says:

    I’ve had these before in Armenia, as well. And as a child I was hesitant to try them, because they don’t look appetizing at all, but after I tried, I couldn’t stop! they are addictive! Not to mention the excuse that they are sort of “health food” because of the nuts and fruits ;)

  8. Artur says:

    I made some and I am trying to sell it on ebay and on etsy, if someone wants to try it please visit etsy and search sujux or churchkhela.

    thank you

  9. Artur says:

    Hi everyone I am making and selling it on ebay and on etsy,
    you can visit http://www.etsy.com/listing/78528401/sujux-churchkhela
    and buy if you want
    thank you

    Artur

  10. [...] vezmite len tak do ruky a môžete si z nej odhryzávať… S tou klobáskou som nežartoval. Na jednom ruskom foodblogu som videl čurčilu, ktorá vyzerala úplne ako [...]

  11. JohnnyFox says:

    Had some this weekend in Allaverdi Monastery in Georgia and it was SO delicious the monks gave me some to bring home, but I know I’ll need more! Will search it on eBay

  12. Giorgi says:

    Its Georgian Sweet Churchkhela(ჩურჩხელა)very delicious belive me! but as everything you need to try good one ;) maybe you’ll find well made churchkhela in only Georgia made by peasants..
    but it is also on Amazon
    http://www.amazon.com/Kernel-Walnuts-Churchkhela/dp/B007939BWE/ref=sr_1_cc_2?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1334056357&sr=1-2-catcorr

    • Karwan says:

      c1a5You realise they aren’t going to be able to buy the land. At least unesls it is re-collectivised and sold off, which is unlikely with an ultra-liberal government.Georgian farmers don’t even like the idea of a marketing cooperative, let alone consolidating small-holdings. So are the Boers going to feel more secure renting in Georgia than holding out in South Africa?d5

  13. Natasha says:

    When I was little, in Moscow we would buy it from kiosks everywhere (people from the Caucus really knew how to make them!). It was such a treat. When I moved to US, I started finding them in specialty shops. I love recreating my childhood by eating all the nostalgia food. This post reminded me that I should buy some Churchkhela again :)

  14. irina says:

    Churchkhela isn’t armenian it’s georgian sweets.but these people thieves.they steal beginning from history finishing cookery.don’t believe them.go to this site and look.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churchkhela

  15. irina says:

    photos on your site represents georgian churchklela

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