Georgian cuisine refers to the cooking styles and dishes with origins in the nation of Georgia and prepared by Georgian people around the world. The Georgian cuisine is specific to the country, but also contains some influences from the European and Middle Eastern culinary traditions, as well as those of the surrounding Western Asia. The cuisine offers a variety of dishes with various herbs and spices. Each historical province of Georgia has its own distinct culinary tradition, with variations such as Megrelian, Kakhetian, and Imeretian cuisines. In addition to various meat dishes, Georgian cuisine also offers a variety of vegetarian dishes. Georgian cuisine is the result of the rich interplay of culinary ideas carried along the trade routes by merchants and travelers alike. The importance of both food and drink to Georgian culture is best observed during a feast called supra, when a huge assortment of dishes are prepared, always accompanied by large amounts of wine, and that can last for hours. In a Georgian feast, the role of the tamada (toastmaster) is an important and honoured position. Georgian restaurants were prevalent in Russia throughout the 20th century, assisted by the fact that Joseph Stalin was himself an ethnic Georgian and particularly fond of his native food and drink. In Russia, all major cities have many Georgian restaurants, and Russian restaurants often feature Georgian food items on their menu. In countries of the former Soviet Union, Georgian food is also popular due to the immigration of Georgians to other Soviet republics.