It's a big day in the religious and culinary calendar of the Republic of Georgia. Georgian Catholics observe Dec. 17 as St. Barbara's Day, in honor of an early Christian martyr. And they typically mark the occasion by eating a type of stuffed bread called lobiani, baked with a filling of boiled beans with coriander and onions. <...>
As a side effect of the bitter conflict between Russia and Georgia, imports of Georgian wine and mineral water are banned in Russia. Georgian restaurants in Moscow make do with imports from France, Chile and Australia, but Georgian food lovers will tell you it's not the same. Since October, when elections brought a new regime to power in Georgia, hopes have been raised that the wine ban might be lifted as a gesture of good will. Since most of Georgia's wine had been imported to Russia before the war, it may be a real economic gesture as well.
And just last week, diplomats from the two countries met in Switzerland for their first direct talks since the war. Both Russians and Georgians have described their national relationship as something like a passionate love affair gone sour—maybe wine and walnuts can help restore the magic.For full text of article, please visit NPR's website.
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