Georgians have developed a taste for fast food during the fasting period of Lent. The trend has highlighted a cultural paradox in this South Caucasus state, where Orthodox Christianity forms perhaps the main pillar of national identity.
Believers in Georgia are in the midst of observing Lent, the 40-day period of fasting prior to Easter. Trying to cater to the Georgian market, Dunkin’ Donuts, the Canton, Massachusetts-based pastry and coffeehouse company, has put Lenten doughnuts on its menu in Georgia.
This is not the first time the international chain has introduced region-specific doughnuts in some of its 3,068 stores outside the United States. But the strong positive reaction of customers in Georgia to the Lenten doughnuts has drawn attention not only to the country’s fascination with American brands, but also to the influence of Orthodox beliefs in society.
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Giorgi Lomsadze is a freelance journalist based in Tbilisi. He is a frequent contributor to EurasiaNet.org's Tamada Tales blog.