Romanian flavours, a must try!
Romanian cuisine is very similar to other Balkan countries like Serbia, Hungary or Bulgaria. Cabbage rolls, the sour soups, cabbage rolls or various kind of sausages can be found in the Balcans but they taste different depending the geographic location. The difference is in how these foods are cooked, the spices used, which gives unique flavors .
Some food are found only in certain regions of Romania such as ’ ciorba de potroace’, sour cabbage soup or ’bulzul cu branza de burduf” corn meal with salty sheep cheese.
Romanian is one of the few lucky countries that uses seasonal produce, most of them organic, sold by local farmers at the market at very low prices compared to other countries in Romania.
“Slanina afumata” Smoked bacon
Smoked bacon is made out of pig fat the is found in the abdominal area or on the back. In some regions of the Romania, bacon is flavored in with garlic, pepper , paprika or other spices. The most widely used method, which everybody seems to love, is the smoking process.
“Jumari cu ceapa” Greaves with onions
The food is obtained by frying pieces of bacon, so if you have high cholesterol I would not not recommend it. In winter, many people eat this golden colored pieces of bacon with and red onions.
“Carnati afumati” Smoked sausages
The smoked sausages, are obtained by pressing into animal intestine, minced meat with spices and then placed over smoke. Traditionally, the spices used are sweet or hot paprika, salt and garlic.
“Mici” Grilled minced meat
Mici” or “mititei” meaning “ the little ones” are the kings of any Romanian barbeque. It is a grilled minced beef meat which is often mixed with minced pork or ground sheep meat, garlic, pepper and hot paprika. They are served with mustard.
“Mamaliga cu branza si smantana” Corn meal with salty cheese and sour cream
“Mamaliga” is similar to polenta, a food made from boiled corn meal. Traditionally, corn meal is cooked in salty water in a cast iron cauldron. After ““Mamaliga”” is cooked, cheese and a sour cream is added. It can be a meal itself or a side dish.
“Ciorba de fasole cu ciolan” Bean soup with hocks
Bean soup is one of the queens soup of Romanian cuisine. It is different prepared in various regions. It can have more or less vegetables, it can be flavored with dill or tarragon or it can be cooked with sour cream and vinegar. No matter the differences, bean soup is a very loved soup.
“Ciorba radauteana” Vegetable soup from Radauti
This soup is somehow similar to tripe soup, but its easier to yet because it is made of poultry meat and vegetables. It is dressed with sour cream and dill.
“Sarmale” Cabbage rolls
The traditional cabbage rolls are made of a mix of beef and pork minced meat, mixed with rice and spices and rolled into cabbage leaves. For the ones on diet, they can be made out of only rice or chicken. In some areas of Romania, cabbage rolls are served with polenta and sour cream. The chefs consider that “Sarmale”are tastier if cooked in wine in a cast iron cauldron over a small fire.
“Pomana porcului” Pork feast
Pomana Porcului has an old tradition. This was the thank you dinner fot those who helped in butchering a farm raised pig and processed food obtained from it. For the meal, the meat together with bacon, liver and the ribs of the pig are fried in its own fat.
“Iahnie de fasole cu afumatura” Baked beans with smoked meat
Baked bean, a Romanian traditional food from Brasov. It is very different from the English beans, its more like a stew. If cooked without meat, this dish is a fasting period favorite for many Romanians.
“Varza a la Cluj” Cabbage a la Cluj
Even though cabbage a la Cluj is simply considered “messed up cabbage rolls” by many, this prejudice is not entirely true. This food is traditional in Transylvania, but has become very popular in other regions as well.
“Ciorba ardeleneasca de porc” Transylvanian vegetable soup with pork
This soup has its tradition in Transylvanian. It is a mix of vegetables and pork meat, spiced with tarragon, which, adds a very special flavor to the soup.
“Salata boeuf” Beef salad
This traditional food it originates from the Salade a la Russe, the Russian salad. The recipe for the Romanian beef salad consists in boiled carrots, eggs, potatoes and beef, all together with pickles and mayonnaise.
“Cozonac de casa” Sweetbread
I can not imagine a Christmas without a delicious sweetbread. It is not an easy task to bake a good one, It’s always about the quality of the flour used but more important, mixing the dough with a firm hand and baking the bread in a tightly closing oven. The mix of cocoa, nuts and raisins baked in the dough its a heavenly delight!
“Mucenici moldovenesti” Sweet dough figurines
Sweet dough figurines is a dessert baked by woman to celebrate the first 40 martyrs of Jesus. In the honor of the martyrs, women from Moldova bake 40 figurines from dough using a recipe resembling that of sweetbread but with more nuts and cinnamon.
“Papanasi cu branza de vaci si afine” Dumplings with cow cheese and blueberries
This is a dessert made from dough with sweet cow cheese, served with marmalade or jam and powdered sugar.