Known in Greek mythology as Colchis, the land of the Golden Fleece, Georgia lies along the eastern shore of the Black Sea. The land—the Greater and Lesser Caucasus Mountains and a broad central plain—is influenced by varied climates and offers myriad produce, from the vineyards of the dry interior to the tea and lemon plantations of the subtropical coast. Georgia’s position between the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea made it an important part of the Silk Road routes; this and its rich land also drew the attention of a number of conquerors, including Arabs, Mongols, Turks, and Persians, during its long history. Georgian cuisine often combines walnuts (for its nutty taste) with fruit (to counteract the oiliness of the nuts). I have adapted this wonderful rice salad from a Georgian pilaf.
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