Traditional Romanian cuisine

Wherever we go, we must try the local cuisine. In our opinion, this is one of the best ways to learn about culture and customs. We always do the research for good local restaurants, not to end up in typical tourist spots.

What is the traditional Romanian cuisine? It is a mix of dishes from different traditions. It was shaped under the strong influence of the Ottoman culture, but it also includes the influences other cuisines, including German, Serbian and Hungarian.

What is ciorbă?

It turns out that traditional Romanian cuisine has many similarities to the Polish. Like us, Romanians love soups. What is surprising, they have a separate dish, that is a soup, but very thick. They call it ciorbă. The ingredients may be different, but it often contains lemon juice, sauerkraut juice, vinegar, or traditionally bors (fermented wheat bran) appear as the base. Ciorbă is a sour soup, the taste of which is often made stronger with sour cream. Romanians love cream and add it almost to everything!

A soup with fewer ingredients is called supă. Supa can be, for example, a chicken broth. The menu also very often includes cream soups, for example from lentils or mushrooms.

Sarmale – Romanian stuffed cabbage

Another similarity is meat-stuffed cabbage. Romanians also prepare cabbage rolls (called sarmale). The only difference is that the cabbage in which the stuffing is wrapped is sour and the size is much smaller. In addition to ‘Polish’ alike meat-stuffed cabbage, they also eat stuffing wrapped in grape leaves.

Polenta, polenta and only polenta

What do they eat with meat-stuffed cabbage? A beloved side in this country – polenta! In Romania, polenta often replaces potatoes, other grans and bread. For those who do not know, polenta is cooked cornmeal. We dare say that people are divided into polenta gourmands and those who hate it.

Polenta is often also an addition to goulash, which in Romania is very popular. Either with meat or vegan (with wild mushrooms for example) you will find it in every traditional restaurant.

Zacuscă, salate de icre and plăcinta

Let’s go back a second to the moment you come to the restaurant terribly hungry and you will not make it to the main course. You must then choose an appetizer.

In Romania, the popular starter is zacuscă – a type of paste made from various vegetables, including peppers, eggplant and tomatoes. Zacuscă is a great addition to bread and other dishes.

In addition to zacuskă, you should also order boards of cheese or meat. Romanian cheeses are usually made from goat’s or sheep’s milk. They are very characteristic in taste and simply delicious.

Another appetizer is the roe salad (salata de icre). It’s made of mayonnaise (importantly homemade),  roe and onions.

We must also mention the Romanian pancake – plăcinte. plăcinte is a cake with various fillings: eg from potatoes smoked cheese or cabbage.

Who wants mici?

We can not fail to mention the meats, because Romanians consume a lot of them. Either grilled in one piece, or very often in the form of Mititei/Mici – mixed minced meat, well seasoned, formed into small rolls and baked on the grill.

What runs in Romanian veins?

It would also be nice to order something to drink. When it comes to alcohol there is also a lot to try! You can start with delicious, local and unfiltered beer. We loved Azuga. We recommend you Romanian wines as well. They taste the best in one of the Romanian vineyards! If you prefer, you can choose something stronger – slivovitz. In Romania, slivovitz is the national alcohol, they distil different types, but each one of them gives a good kick. Slivovitz was the personal choice for Przemek.

Doughnut worry be happy!

Is this the end? Definitely not! You can only end with Papanaşi! Papanaşi is a traditional Romanian dessert, similar to doughnuts. It is made differently though because the dough is made with the white cheese. Two doughnuts – small and large are poured with sour cream and jam. Something simply brilliant!

Have you ever been to Romania? What did you like the most? Tell us in the comments!

Experience with us!

Brought to you by: Julia & Przemysław

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