Do Kutaisians take the Big Lent more seriously than others? 

Do Kutaisians take the Big Lent more seriously than others? 

The FINANCIAL -- Spring brings happiness in peoples’ lives not only because of the brighter days but also because the increased supply of many seasonal products. This is reflected in the production cost of Khachapuri. In April 2016, the national average cost of preparing one standard Imeretian khachapuri went down to 3.16 GEL, 3.2% lower compared to March 2016 (but 6.9% higher compared to April 2015). 

In April, more cheese was brought to the market, leading to a decline of the Khachapuri price index in almost all surveyed cities. Compared to last month, in Telavi the index went down by 6.9%, in Batumi by 6.6%, and in Tbilisi by 4.1%. Surprisingly, only in Kutaisi, the home of Imeretian Khachapuri, the index went up by 4.9%. How can this be explained?

One speculation might be that the Kutaisians are keeping more strictly to the dietary regulations of Orthodox Christianity, as it is striking that the price increase in Kutaisi is very much in line with the timing of the current nutrition-relevant holidays – Easter and the Big Lent. The Big Lent starts 40 days before Easter, and people do not eat cheese and eggs in this time. Hence, prices of these important ingredients were low in March, making Kutaisi the cheapest Khachapuri city in that month. Yet, when Easter began, Kutaisians made up for their previous fasting by buying even bigger amounts of eggs and cheese, making Kutaisi the most expensive Khachapuri city in April.  It remains to be answered why Kutaisians are observing religious rules more eagerly than other Georgians – but that is another puzzle, deserving to be discussed separately.

We wish a happy and peaceful Easter celebration to all readers of the Khachapuri Index!