Khachapuri: The Georgian Dish Sure To Elevate Your Eggs

Khachapuri on a table
Khachapuri on a table - Lyutik_Ryutik/Shutterstock

Eggs are the best part of many breakfasts, kickstarting the day with necessary proteins and nutrients. It is perfectly pre-portioned, can be cooked in 101 ways, and it's quite possibly one of the most versatile ingredients around. Mankind is far from running out of ideas on how to make eggs even more exciting, and a popular choice for elevating eggs is khachapuri, Georgian cheese bread.

You may not be familiar with the traditional cuisine of Georgia but consider it for your next food adventure. The most famous Georgian culinary ambassador is by far the khachapuri. The version of khachapuri that is most commonly associated with the name is essentially a bread boat that cradles a significant amount of melted cheese. Right before serving, an egg is cracked onto the hot cheese, creating an irresistibly gooey concoction perfect for sharing with your fellow diners.

The origins of the bread are hotly debated, with some scholars stating it was likely developed around the 1100s and others saying the dish it was based on is from sometime in 400 B.C., so it must be older -- though the word itself wasn't written until the 18th century. Additionally, some attribute its possible origin to Roman soldiers bringing a kind of proto-pizza to the Black Sea. Whatever its true beginnings are, khachapuri has become popular in many major cities around the world, thanks to the tried and true combination of bread and cheese, all topped with a glorious egg.

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Making Khachapuri

Making khachapuri
Making khachapuri - Melnikov Dmitriy/Shutterstock

Let us get a little more into the anatomy of a khachapuri, whose essential components are bread, cheese, and egg. It is constructed like a self-contained fondue, as the bread is shaped into a boat. The bread is leavened with yeast, making it soft and easy to tear apart for sharing and dipping. Traditionally, sour-salty Georgian cheeses like imeruli and sulguni are used, which can be substituted with a combination of mozzarella for the pull and feta for the briny tang. This then gets baked together in the oven until the bread is puffed with a browned crust, and the cheese has melted perfectly into a thick, savory puddle. The egg is essential to flavor, texture, and mouthfeel -- lending it a velvety, rich touch.

When it comes out of the oven, a raw egg is plopped right into the center of the bubbly cheese, along with a pat of butter. Diners then mix the cheese, egg, and butter at the table, with chunks of bread that they have torn from the perimeter of the khachapuri. Make your own khachapuri at home, whether with cheese or adding on your personalized riff of this iconic bread, like the braised leek or meatball versions served at Cheeseboat in Williamsburg, New York.

More Eggy, Cheesy Breads

Khachapuri varieties
Khachapuri varieties - smspsy/Shutterstock

While the classic khachapuri may be the egg-and-cheese-bread du jour, there are many options to pivot to or pull inspiration from. The cafe classic, Croque Madame, features a sunny-side-up fried egg and grated cheese, along with ham and mustard. Incorporate its flavors into your khachapuri with a little gruyere into the cheese mix and pieces of ham on top for a protein-filled fusion. Or if making dough from scratch is not your vibe, pivot to the dependable egg-in-a-hole and add as much cheese as you can handle on top. It may not be the real thing, but the combination of bread, egg, and cheese ensures that it will pass the vibe check in a pinch.

If all of that was too much cheese, there are other eggy concoctions around the world worth checking out to zhuzh up your eggs. There are so many ways you can explore what breakfast looks like in different countries to freshen up your routine and give you something to experiment with during the week.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.