i sometimes live in denial of how deeply ingrained the habits of teaching are in me, until i spend two days reading archived articles about the country of Georgia and their recent conflict with Russia in order to write a blog entry about pork stew.
Georgian pork stew is just a recipe, like any other recipe one might find while perusing epicurious.com. it's surprisingly tasty for Eastern European food, largely due to the mid-east influenced herbs and spices (fenugreek seeds, coriander, tumeric, basil, cilantro, etc) . but while serving this ethnic cuisine guilt overtook me, since really i know nothing about Georgia (the country).
now, a handful of web searches later, i feel superficially aware of the political strife in this smaller than South Carolina country. so, if asked, i will not be mortified. furthermore, i can share these culinary tidbits: Georgia is possibly the source of the world's first cultivated grapevines and neolithic winemaking. Georgian wines were the most highly prized and sought after wines throughout the former Soviet Union, but recently the demand led to widespread counterfeiting (some of which was just flavored grain alcohol, but this apparently didn't stop many Russians from indulging????). in 2006, Russia banned the importation of Georgian wines (small part appreciation for excellence, large part political motives) nearly killing the industry. since that time the Swiss have taken on the challenge of promoting Georgian wine throughout Europe and some of it has made it's way to us.
Georgian wine made it to our dinner table last night, to compliment our Georgian stew. the stew was delicious. all the research was perfectly edifying. the wine, well let's just say, four-fifths of the bottle still sits on the table untouched. i hope it was the fake stuff, for the sake of the Georgians.