Bear with me while I make a long explanation of why I am writing this.
Our only attempt to make khachapuri (Georgian cheese pizza) at Christmas Eve 2009 went badly wrong. This was partly because for some reason Bee bought brown flour and had to go back and get some white and start again. There is no way khachapuri could pretend to be healthy food so brown flour is out of the question. The repeat was better but not really authentic. But that didn't matter as we had the other eleven dishes of the Lithuanian Christmas Eve to get through.
Since then we have been looking for a better recipe. One was finally provided by one of my work colleagues on her friend's food blog here, so I whizzed it off to Bee to try. This time she seems to have been successful in making the simplest type of khachapuri, according to her new blog.
In order to identify the ones she shows there, I went to my own blog only to find that I have hardly blogged at all about Georgian food. So I was forced to resort to Wikipedia which managed to identify 8 types of Khachapuri, of which I have only met 4. My favourite is the khachapuri rolled round a skewer and cooked on the barbecue, which is really delicious.
While on Wikipedia I was reminded of the Khachapuri Index, invented by the Intenational School of Economics at Tbilisi State University. Unlike the Economist's Big Mac Index, which compares the price of a Big Mac in different countries as a measure of purchasing power to see whether the exchange rate to the dollar is over- or undervalued, the KI measures the local inflation rate. Over the last six months the khachapuri I usually buy from the bakery opposite my office has gone up from 1.30 GEL to 1.50 GEL a rise of 15%.
As the university says:
Because khachapuri is so popular in Georgia, changes in its price would provide a good picture of inflation in the country. We have, therefore, created the "Khachapuri index" for tracking inflation in Georgia and, in the longer run, exploring the differences in the costs of living in its cities and regions. As opposed to other indices used for calculating inflation, our "basket" includes only those ingredients that are needed to cook one Imeretian khachapuri - flour, cheese, yeast, eggs, and butter. It also includes energy costs - gas and electricity.
Here you can see the index, bang up to date with Jan 2011 figures:
It seems that the price is so volatile. Also it seems the price drops in fasting seasons: Lent, before Whitsun, before Christmas.