Posted on June 13, 2018 at 2:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

As if bookworms needed another reason to say “it’s not JUST a book, Atlas Obscura just shared a story about a 19th-century cookbook that saved a family business.

For years, the Kurasbediani family had served up standard fare at their restaurant in Tbilisi, Georgia, but after a while, the market began shifting, and revenue started slowing down.

They knew they had to make some sort of change or shutter the doors of Barbarestan.

One day, after various rebranding ideas didn’t quite pan out, the family was on a stroll to an antique market and made the fortuitous find: a copy of Georgian Cuisine and Tried Housekeeping Notes.

The book was published in 1874 by Princess Barbare Jorjadze, known today as the country’s first feminist and one of its most famous authors.

As a member of the royalty, Jorjadze traveled all over Georgia and compiled recipes from the various regions, from native, traditional fare to dishes inspired by other lands (befitting Georgia’s status as the crossroads between Europe and Asia).

Fast-forward to 2016 — those recipes found their way onto the Kurasbedianis’ menu, and two years later, business is booming at Barbarestan, now known as one of Tbilisi's best restaurants.

Read the full story at Atlas Obscura, and learn more about Jorjadze from NPR's The Salt.

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