Did you know, why Dambal Khacho has such a distinct taste and texture, from all the other molded cottage cheese?
We’re about to introduce to you the exceptional Georgian dishes with interesting history, unique taste and traditional preparation technique.
Homer’s Odyssey approaching the cave inhabited with a monstrous Sheppard cyclops, is the first clash of readers with a glimpse of the cheese preparation process described in ancient Greece. This ancient profession is no less familiar to us.
Georgia is an officially proud owner of 14 different types of Cheeses- and among them is Dambal khacho-Molded cottage cheese, famous with its own traditional making techniques and unique flavor and taste.The preparation process is extremely time-consuming and cheese is difficult to make.
Dambal Khacho has been around for almost two centuries, it officially originates from Pshavi and Tianeti, North-East Georgia. In 2014 by National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia, was declared the technique of preparation and culture of Dambal Khacho as a monument of intangible cultural heritage.
The same year two french researchers confessed that Dambal Khachos preparation technique is unique and is something that they have never seen before.
Dambal Khacho – Traditional preparation technique
In the Fall season whole milk is poured into a wooden reservoir (Chkhuti/Varia) and is churned for a couple of hours. Churning is the process of shaking up the milk until it turns into a fatty mass (butter) and separates from buttermilk, which is used for preparation of Dambal Khacho. After the heated (until 40-50c) buttermilk turns into cottage mass, it is poured into a canvas bag and left hanging for an entire day. When extra juice squeezes out of the bag, women start shaping cottage cheese into small balls, placing them on a plate and finally putting in Dzobani (hanging storage space for drying) for ten days.
After cheese balls have dried, women wash it all over with special serum and store away in clay pots, mostly buried in the ground for 2-3 months, in order for cheese to develop a special mold. Meanwhile Dambal khacho enriches with probiotics and different healthy bacteria.
While the outside of the ball is covered entirely with mold, the insides of cheese are soaked and golden colored.
When Dambal khacho is ready, it’s properly cleaned, chunked and heated up in the sauce pen mixed with fat, that turns into a delicious heavy fat sauce.
It also can be consumed as a dry cheese.
Stay tuned for our Georgian cuisine series!