Hello everyone, I hope that you are all doind just fine!
In this article I want to tell you about this traditional dessert in Georgia which is called Gozinaki. It's like it's always on a New Year table and traditionally, everyone has Gozinaki on New Year's day, however, it's not that eatable, I mean, it kind of lasts long, because people may just eat one piece of it and people usually prepare a lot of Gozinaki, if you ask me.
Preparing Gozinaki I always thought was really hard and it needed much attention and hard work and things like that, however, it is not like that it seems now. Well, everything depends on the recipe and how you prepare it, I guess, however, there are just some ingredients which you should use and there are some things which people add and skip and things like that, you know.
There is this tradition in Georgia, that on New Year everyone has Gozinaki on their tables and it's a traditional dish for New Year, since we specially celebrate New Year in Georgia and while Christmas is the most special day in Europe and other countries, New Year is always celebrated specially in Georgia and there are some reasons why, however, I'm not going to explain them here, because it is no place to discuss them in this article right now.
Anyways, it's like a shame not to have Gozinaki on a table on New Year and even if you don't like it, you should still have it there and you may have some pieces of Gozinaki bought and just put on the table. You know, there are some good Gozinaki sold at supermarkets and you can just buy them with a good price and there are Gozinaki made from nuts or walnuts and even with sunflower seeds and though I haven't tasted that sunflower seed Gozinaki, people buy them and it them and they like it, so you can buy it and taste it.
Well, to tell you the truth, many people like Gozinaki and I am one of them. I just really love it, though, I guess, I didn't love it in my childhood. you know, there is this thing, when it is 12 o'clock and people celebrate New Year, people just go and take Gozinaki and suggest eating it to each other and they say to each other to have their whole lives as sweet as that Gozinaki is, and Gozinaki is usually very sweet because of the honey that they use to prepare it. You may find different coloured Gozinaki, I mean, it all depends on how much you will roast the walnuts, if you roast them for a long time, they will become darker and if you don't roast them at all they will be just "white" and I don't really love that white Gozinaki, if you want to know the truth, it kind of associates with raw something in me and I don't have a desire of eating it. However, some people prefer that one, because they think, that the darker one is like burnt or something.
It has been just recently that I decided, that I loved Gozinaki and after some time of thinking, I decided to learn about it and learn a recipe to prepare it. My sister was kind of shocked about it, if you want to know the truth, because usually I didn't use to prepare anything, I mean, I just knew how to cook an egg and how to prepare buckwheat, I guess, and that was all my cooking skills, however, learning is never too late, besides, I was just a teenager and I'm not even very old now, so that it was just the time to learn about preparing Gozinaki and prepare it myself. To be honest, I would prepare it for myself mostly, of course. You know, these days it's not a good idea to prepare many things at once and at the same time, because it's like you don't even need so much of those things and no one really eats them then, however, it's kind of easy to prepare things at the same time, because then you don't have to prepare them again after some days or whatever. Although, you know, food shouldn't be kept for too long. There was this trend some time ago and it still is, i guess, in Georgia, that you should have prepared so many things for parties or feasts and you should have bought at least one kilogramme of something, otherwise you were not "a man" and everyone would think, that you didn't have money or something and it was considered to be a shame if you bought less than one kilogramme, or, at least, you should have bought half a kilo of something. Nowadays, it's acceptable to buy something hundred grams or whatsoever, however, when you go shopping in bazaar in Georgia and tell them that you want hundred grams of something, or you want one apple or something like that, most of the people will get angry and can even start yelling at you, because you said one apple or whatever! and that is just ridiculous, of course. People want to buy things fresh and when you buy them too many and put them at home, you can not really eat them all and they get bitter after some time. Rather, you can have several apples or whatever bought for yourself and when you eat them, you can go to bazaar anytime you want and buy some fresh apples and so on and so forth.
Anyways, what I wanted to say was, that preparing Gozinaki in small pieces and small amounts is a better idea, I guess, however, if you prepare it many, it is not a bad idea either, because you can store it for too long, especially if you store it in a fridge.
Maybe you think about the taste of Gozinaki. It's really delicious, I must say, however, it's kind of hard to explain the taste of it. Imagine, the Snickers chocolate bar without the chocolate coating. Gozinaki is kind of like that, though it has honey in it, so that you should imagine honey taste, too!
You know, first time that I ever prepared Gozinaki was with my mom, though I only helped her in stirring those walnuts, but it felt good, if you ask me and I had this feeling of helping her in something. After that, I prepared Gozinaki in Germany, and I had this skype video call with my mother and she was telling me how to prepare Gozinaki and stuff like that, because I remembered some things about the recipe, though I didn't exactly remember everything, of course.
People prepare Gozinaki in different ways and they whine about preparing it being hard and that you have to do so many things in order to prepare it, however, my mother prepares it pretty easily and it's like she has this easy recipe for Gozinaki and, well, it's not just about that, I mean, the taste is just great and it looks great, too, so, why bother about all the other things and how one should do this and that, when you can have a simple recipe and make your life easier and, at the same time, have a delicious Gozinaki for yourself! You know, my mother doesn't really like cooking, so that, imagine, how it is to prepare this Gozinaki! Although, she does know many things about honey and, well, there are many things depended on honey in preparing Gozinaki, so if you don't have a good honey, you should make it good, or do something about it, because otherwise this Gozinaki of yours will not be the same as it should have been. So, just keep that in mind! There are all those different types of honey and there are sweet and sour and thick and thin and whatever, so that, you should definitely have a taste of them or something like that.
So, about preparing some Gozinaki! The main ingredients here are walnuts and honey, however, some people prepare Gozinaki with nuts, and there are even some of them made with sunflower seeds, however, the real Gozinaki is prepared from sliced walnuts and honey!
- Walnuts, 150 grams, sliced
- Honey, 2 tbs
Well, I used to watch my mom prepare Gozinaki for so many years, however, I didn't watch her prepare Gozinaki from the beginning to the end, I mean, I either watched her from the beginning and then go and sleep or hang around with my brother and sister, or watch her at the end of preparation, when it was time to roll out the mixture on a table in some wrapping bag. Either ways, I couldn't really understand how it was prepared as a whole. You know, there was this tradition (kind of) to prepare Gozinaki just before midnight and, well, I really hated that. I mean, you could just prepare Gozinaki some hours earlier or something like that and leave it that way and don't prepare it just minutes before the New Year! However, my mother always did that and it was Gozinaki smell all around the house at that time of preparing it. Well, the smell was good, if you want to know the truth.
So, preparing this Gozinaki didn't really take long, it was just this tiny lttle thing about slicing those walnuts that could keep you crazy and waste all your precious time, because it really needed much time, especially if you were preparing kind of much Gozinaki, however, it was no that much, if you look at it this way. The thing was, you could not just skip that step and move to another, I mean, walnuts should have been all sliced and stuff, otherwise, it was not possible to prepare Gozinaki. Well, I guess, some people would prepare it without this slicing and stuff, but then it's not following the recipe, and, besides, cooking the whole walnuts doesn't make any sense and doesn't do any good for Gozinaki, because after preparing the mixture you have to put it in a wrapping bag and roll it on a table and make it thinner or something like that, so that it will get a nice, beautiful shape and it will be great to eat it.
So, the first step is pretty hard and you have to work hard and for a long time to get it done and you should be really patient about it. Well, you can turn the TV on or turn your favourite musics on or do something like that and watch it or listen to the music while slicing up those walnuts all patiently and stuff. You know, there's this thing about preparing Gozinaki just before midnight _ you can't really be patiently slicing the walnuts when you know, that it's the New Year coming soon and you have to be in a shape and ready for it and, instead of doing that, you are just sitting there at the table or somewhere else, slicing those walnuts and don't really know, when you will finish slicing them and you are kind of nervous about all those stuff, you know. However, I guess, people used to do that some years ago in Georgia and that's why our parents do that, too, I mean, they were used to that and people just repeat what they see or what they get used to, if you ask me. So that, those things kind of become a habit.
Well, the first thing you need to do is that slicing the walnuts, which is a very long process if you are doing it by your hands with a knife and it’s really not an exciting procedure, however, you can get everything easier and have that chopper with you and just chop those walnuts in it, I mean, we did that this year, though it was the very first time, that we used our chopper-blender for that purpose, however, it all went great and there were thin slices of those walnuts in the chopper at the end, so that this whole work just ended up in seconds with that chopper! There was this machine in Super supermarket when we were on our New Year shopping, which I have written about in another one of my articles and there we thought about buying that Gozinaki chopper, I mean, it was really called that way and the consultant girl told us that it had three types of chopping knife and one of them could chop walnuts for Gozinaki. Well, when my sister looked at it, she just realized, that our chopper had the exact same knife types and we could just use our chopper for that Gozinaki walnuts slicing, so that we did and it was a great idea, if you ask me.
So, after that we had to cook those slices of walnuts in a frying pan. It doesn’t need any oil or anything, you just have to add those walnut slices to the frying pan and stir from time to time for those walnuts not to get burnt. Otherwise, it will be burnt and the taste will be awful and it won’t be delicious at all and you will have to put it into the trash, if you want to know the truth. So, when you stir, you just control the colour and everything. When the walnut slices get golden in colour or something like that, you can just pour in that 2 tablespoons of honey and stir for a while. After that you should just turn the gas off and pour that mixture into a bag. Well, those bags are pretty easy to find, I guess, but sometimes, you can’t just get it anywhere. My mother uses this transparent and kind of a thick bag or whatever you can call it, you know, those kinds, in which there are some toys or things like that, we’ve all seen bags like that and she uses something that resembles them, I don’t know, whether I’m describing it well or not. I guess, I’m not describing it well at all, however, you might understand what I’m talking about, or maybe I can show you a picture of it.
Anyways, you should take any polyethylene bag or something like that so that the mixture won’t stick on it and pour that mixture into that bag and it’s better if that bag has something not to allow the mixture to get out of it. Because the next thing you have to do is to put that bag full of mixture on a table or somewhere on a flat surface and roll it out on it like a doughand just have it get thinner, but not very thin. You know, some people like Gozinaki to be very thin and some like it kind of thick, it all depends on an individual, however, my mother prepares it in the middle, I mean, it’s not very thin and neither very thick. It’s just normal and just perfect. So, if you prefer it thin, you should roll it thin and if you prefer it thicker, you should not roll it much, of course.
So, this hot mixture should go inside the bag and be rolled out in that bag with a rolling stick or whatsoever, so that it can get a shape and after that you just get that mixture out of that bag, I mean, you can cut the bag or something for the mixture to stay in the same condition as it is rolled out and after that you should cut the Gozinaki into shapes just as it’s hot and everything. However, it’s kind of dangerous, too, because when it’s hot, you can really burn your hands and that’s what my mother tells me every time, well, not every time, because I’ve just prepared Gozinaki for a couple of times, I think, 2 times or something. And, first time that I prepared Gozinaki by myself was in Germany in my college and I had this video call with my mom and she was telling me how to do things and everything and the second time that I prepared Gozinaki was this year and we made it together _ me and my mother, so that I don’t really have much experience in preparing it, however, preparing something just twice is not that bad and it’s kind of an experience, too, if you ask me.
Content available in other languages
- Español: Receta de Gozinaki
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