View From Your Table
That’s my Moscow translator Matt Casserly on the other side of the table at Saperavi, a Georgian restaurant in Moscow. We’re about to tuck into pkhali, a kind of Georgian dish described thus by Wikipedia:
Pkhali (Georgian: ფხალი) is a traditional Georgian dish of chopped and minced vegetables, made of cabbage, eggplant, spinach, beans, beets and combined with ground walnuts, vinegar, onions, garlic, and herbs. Pkhali is also called mkhali. The common ingredient of all variations of pkhali is pureed walnut sauce. In Georgian restaurants, pkhali is usually served in three types: spinach, beetroot and white beans.
UPDATE: Just tasted something I brought back from Russia: pine cone preserves. They’re made from tiny young pine cones, harvested before they grow hard. They’re cooked down in syrup. This sounds like the kind of thing I would like, so I brought a jar home from a gourmet food shop in St. Petersburg.
Well, they’re beautiful … but I can’t say that they’re my favorite. They taste like caramels made from sugar and pine tar.