When traveling in Romania, it’s straightforward to get distracted by all the totally different decisions in relation to Romanian meals. Romanians are usually nice cooks, and there are loads of nationwide dishes we take nice satisfaction in.
- 1 10 Delicious Romanian Food Dishes You Must Try
- 2 Sarmale
- 3 Mămăligă
- 4 Sibiu Salami
- 5 Ciorbă de burtă
- 6 Mici
- 7 Salată de Vinete
- 8 Vișinată
- 9 Papanași
- 10 Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 11 Kürtőskalács
- 12 Quicks Romanian Food FAQs
- 13 Did I omit your favorite Romanian food dish?
10 Delicious Romanian Food Dishes You Must Try
To assist be sure to get the perfect and most culturally significant food expertise, listed here are the top 10 foods you have got to attempt when visiting Romania!
This one is a no-brainer. A cheerful remnant from our brushes with the Ottoman Empire all through history, and a favourite among Romanian dishes, sarmale have develop into a pillar of Romanian cuisine. No Christmas dinner is full with out them. Comparable forms of this dish exist all through the Mediterranean and Japanese Europe, though I wish to assume that Romanians have perfected the formulation.
Sarmale are made from a mix of minced meat—often a mixture of pork and beef—and rice, stuffed inside pickled cabbage leaves, boiled, and served with sour cream. For those who take pleasure in Greek food, you might have tried Greek dolmadakia. These look comparable, but are literally quite totally different as soon as you become familiar with both recipes.
The difference between Greek Dolmadakia and Romanian Sarmale
Firstly, Greek dolmadakia are wrapped in vine leaves, not cabbage. Typically you do find sarmale wrapped in vine leaves, however the cabbage rolls are thought-about “more Romanian”.
Secondly, Greek delicacies gives a vegetarian choice for these yummy rolls, stuffed solely with rice and herbs, whereas Romanians would shudder on the thought of vegetarian sarmale. It might seem virtually blasphemous. I can confidently say that in 20 years of life as a Romanian, I’ve never once encountered a vegetarian sarma. They could be on the market, however I’ve a rule that if it might offend my Grandma, I can’t eat it.
Granted, the obsession with meat within the Romanian weight loss plan in all probability isn’t all that wholesome, but in this case we’ve got to stick to our guns.
Now that I’ve made a robust case towards vegetarian sarmale, it’s time to introduce a dish that may, the truth is, be served with out meat. Mămăligă is the Romanian word for polenta, or cornmeal porridge. It is such an necessary food in Romanian tradition that there’s a humorous, although somewhat sexist, saying that a woman can’t get married if she doesn’t know methods to make mămăligă! That have to be why I’m nonetheless single.Anyway, it’s not unusual for wedding ceremony presents to incorporate a special mămăligă-making pot. At mealtimes, if it’s not served with bread, then it’s served with mămăligă, so this is seen as a staple food item for households.
Though in principle it ought to be straightforward to only put some cornmeal in a pot with some salt and water and boil it, in apply there’s much more that goes into getting the best consistency and getting all the lumps out.
My godmother says you should take heed to the mămăligă—it’ll inform you when it’s prepared. My mother’s different greatest pal says it’s worthwhile to stir it 100 occasions.
Some individuals are followers of letting it burn a bit of on the underside of the pot to get some good crispy bits in there. My mom once made mămăligă pancakes, they usually have been pretty good!
Methods to serve mămăligă
There are a whole lot of methods to make mămăligă and equally some ways to serve it! The best way my household most incessantly eats it—and our favourite vegetarian (but not vegan) mămăligă choice—is with an enormous mixture of dairy products. You take a couple dollops of scorching mămăligă, and first you soften a piece of butter into it. Then, you fill your plate with totally different cheeses, yogurt, and sour cream, combine them all in with the mămăligă, and luxuriate in.
Our second choice is a bit of meatier—it’s referred to as “Taci și-nghite”, which accurately interprets to “shut up and swallow”. I’ve decided to not remedy the previous sentence by making an attempt to take the soiled references out of it. Shifting on…Taci și-nghite is mămăligă coated in cheese, bacon, and a few cracked eggs, baked in a pan. It gets its identify from the fact that it’s so scrumptious, you haven’t any selection but to be quiet and simply get on with consuming it.
For a ultimate serving choice, I’ve been knowledgeable that a good factor to do with mămăligă leftovers is to fake they are breakfast cereal and eat them with milk and sugar. I’ve by no means tried it, however apparently this can be a thing. I have yet to determine how I really feel about it.
“Salam de Sibiu” is the national commonplace for cold cuts. I’ve by no means personally been to Sibiu to attempt it recent from the source, but that is by far the perfect salami I have ever tried. Densely packed and very salty, it’s a pork salami that’s good to eat with bread and butter, or with some scrumptious Romanian tomatoes.
The spirit of being a accountable vacationer dictates that you simply really should go to Sibiu and check out it there, however this salami is distributed to every supermarket and recent market in Romania.
READ: 30 Unmissable Things to do in Romania
If Sibiu just isn’t on your journey itinerary, you possibly can undoubtedly decide it up at the corner store closest to your AirBNB. Be sure to peel off the powdery skin earlier than you eat it!
New to AirBNB? Get money off your first stay right here!
Ciorbă de burtă
Romanians love soup. Every necessary celebratory meal should have a soup, and it’s additionally a staple for typical Romanian family meals. There are two very totally different kinds of soup you’ll be able to attempt in Romania—a “supă” which is a daily soup, and the extra “Romanian” choice, the “ciorbă”. Tripe soup, or “ciorbă de burtă”, is the latter.
The difference between supă and ciorbă is that, whereas supă is made like a daily soup with greens, meat, and salt, the ciorbă is made more flavorful with a bitter observe, often completed through the use of borș. Ciorbă de burtă is an exception to this rule. As an alternative of being made bitter with borș like most other ciorbe, the sourness in this Romanian soup comes from vinegar—either white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
The star ingredient on this soup is cow abdomen, or tripe (which doesn’t sound like probably the most appetizing reduce of meat) however should you don’t take into consideration that half too much, you’ll find this dish is actually tasty. The soup has a creamy texture and a yellow shade. You can add extra vinegar to fit your taste, and of course, this soup isn’t complete and not using a scoop of bitter cream (and a spicy pepper, my mother adds).
Ah, the promising odor of burning charcoal: it’s barbecue time! And in Romania, every barbecue has to incorporate mici. Romanian mici, or mititei, which accurately translates to “little ones”, are a very simple however delicious dish. Primarily, they are a mix of minced beef and pork, with some herbs and garlic combined in. They’re grilled on the barbecue and served with bread and mustard.
You’ll simply find meals stands and small eating places promoting them in parks, on the seashore in Constanța, and at any truthful. They are an excellent snack to select up in between activities, and go rather well with a pint of Ursus beer. Apart from, sitting down with a beer and a few mici looks like an ideal alternative to mingle with the locals.
Salată de Vinete
One other dish with a robust Mediterranean feel, salată de vinete, or eggplant salad, is the first vegan-friendly meals on our record. This isn’t a salad in the traditional method that one may envision a salad—it’s more like a dip, or an expansion. The eggplants are grilled, then the contents scooped out and mashed into a mixture along with chopped garlic or onion, salt, pepper, and oil. It is then unfold on bread, or eaten alongside different vegetables.
To me, an amazing evening snack seems to be like a plate with a slice of bread, a couple scoops of eggplant salad, a delicious Romanian tomato recent from the market, a couple of olives, and a slice of salty cheese.
Christmas in Romania is a time for family, meals, and fun and fun entails “alcohol”.
Perhaps I’m exaggerating somewhat bit, however who doesn’t love a nightcap on Christmas Eve? That’s why this Romanian drink is ready months beforehand to be ready to assist us have fun and warm up in the winter.
Vișinată is a tremendous, wealthy black cherry liqueur. It’s pretty simple to make, but endurance is required to let it attain its peak taste. Once the black cherries, or vișine, have been picked in the summer, lots of them are saved particularly for the purpose of creating vișinată. Bottles or jars are then crammed halfway with black cherries, and an equal amount of sugar by weight.
The combination is left to ferment for a number of days before the container is crammed with some really robust booze which is either vodka or a standard Romanian drink referred to as țuică, a plum brandy that is equally necessary in Romanian culture. After this course of, the vișinată is left for about three months, sometimes being jostled around a bit to ensure the whole lot will get combined collectively nicely to get the most effective flavor.
What I really like about vișinată is that the ensuing drink is deceivingly sweet and attractive. I don’t drink țuică or another spirits as a result of they’re too robust and burn on the best way down, but whereas vișinată is just as robust, it tastes a lot better and you actually don’t understand how drunk you’re getting whenever you drink it because you don’t anticipate one thing that tastes so good to go to your head so shortly!
In fact, this is usually a good factor or a nasty factor depending by yourself degree of self-control and self-awareness, but as a rule I in all probability wouldn’t drink greater than three shot glasses value of vișinată in one sitting.
You can all the time swap this saccharine treat for a glass of excellent old style Romanian wine.
As a remaining observe, the boozy cherries left over from making vișinată are, in fact, not allowed to go to waste.
As an alternative, they’re used as toppings for muffins and other desserts, or just eaten alone by cheeky invaders who wander into Grandma’s kitchen.
There are a whole lot of nice Romanian desserts out there to attempt, and in addition desserts from other backgrounds—like the Hungarian Kürtőskalács (more about that later)—which are commonly found in Romania. However the wonderful thing about papanași is that they are this type of universally satisfying guilty pleasure, and are found in any sort of Romanian restaurant, from the standard poolside restaurant, all the best way to fancy bistros. A former companion who spent every week in Romania with me stated this was probably the most memorable factor he ate throughout our journey.
Papanași are a towering monstrosity of a donut, with the eternally elusive donut hole included on prime. Some restaurants I’ve been to serve them in pairs, which appears delectably irresponsible. There’s none of that synthetic flavoring, glaze and sprinkles nonsense happening right here.
This can be a dessert that anybody ought to have the ability to make at residence.
What makes them so rich and scrumptious, and sets them aside from other forms of donuts—something I only found in the present day whereas wanting up recipes—is that the batter is made with cheese. Cheese! In donut batter! I don’t understand how I missed it!
They are inhumanly good. In contrast to most Romanian meals that embrace cheese, this one doesn’t use salty cheese, but relatively a extra mildly flavored choice, like cottage cheese.
The batter is deep-fried to type a donut and a ball that matches on prime of the donut gap, after which all the thing is drizzled with jam and sour cream. Delicious!
Stuffed Bell Peppers
There are lots of similarities between Japanese European food and other cuisines from around the globe. Romanian recipes have been influenced by many various cultures, and that’s why this subsequent conventional Romanian meals could seem familiar—it can be found in many various types all over the world, but as all the time, there are delicate differences that make this recipe distinctive.
Stuffed bell peppers, or “ardei umpluți”, are one Romanian meals that I can by no means say no to. They are very filling and satisfying, however not so overly heavy that you simply really feel like you’ll be able to’t transfer afterwards. As soon as the stem and seeds have been rigorously minimize out to protect as a lot of the bell pepper as potential, they’re then full of a mix of minced pork (typically combined with beef as properly), rice, herbs, and onion. They’re then boiled in a scrumptious tomato sauce.
The trick to getting the right flavor is to ensure so as to add a little bit of sugar to offer the sauce some sweetness to it. And of course, as with each different in style Romanian food, this dish is all the time topped with sour cream to serve.
The final item on this record is a bit of a cheat, I’ll admit. This is truly a Hungarian food, but is a favorite road meals in Transylvania, and in Hungarian-speaking elements of Romania. You can in all probability additionally discover it in Bucharest, although I’ve never had such luck myself. It’s also a meals you will usually discover in any areas meant for fun, like seashores, food festivals, and at the medieval pageant in Sighișoara.
Kürtőskalács are a Hungarian spit-cake. An extended strip of sweet dough is wrapped around a baking spit, and brushed with egg yolk and/or butter for a glossy finish. These days they arrive in many various flavors, as toppings are unfold on the surface earlier than the kürtőskalács are baked over charcoal. You can get a plain granulated sugar topping, cinnamon, walnut, coconut flakes, and extra.
To eat it, you just seize one finish of the dough and tear off a bit. The spiral shape of the dough makes it straightforward to eat with out having to cut a slice with a knife. Simply pull gently, and tear. The complete factor might be gone ahead of you already know.
Quicks Romanian Food FAQs
Is Romanian food good?
Categorically, yes. It’s rich, full of flavors, and made with a way of duty for representing our country and our culture. Should you ever happen to return across “bad” Romanian food, blame the restaurant, not the food or culture itself.
Is Romanian meals spicy?
Whereas we do use plenty of spices, and typically serve with spicy aspect dishes, most traditional Romanian meals lean extra in the direction of being salty and/or sour. We do use a whole lot of garlic in sauces and dips, though, so you will see dishes which might be spicy from using garlic or onion, however not that many dishes with chili peppers and such, though there are a few of these as properly.
Is Romanian food healthy?
Probably the most traditional and well-loved Romanian dishes do are likely to revolve around loads of meat, dairy, carbs, salt and oil, so in case you do need to experience as many traditional dishes as attainable in a brief area of time, you’re in all probability not going to be consuming probably the most healthy or balanced weight-reduction plan. That being stated, Romanian households don’t all the time eat like this.
Romanian fruit and vegetable produce is excellent and top quality—for those who happen upon a recent market in the summer, I highly advocate making an attempt the watermelon and the tomatoes. Many elements of the nation are still very old style of their entrepreneurial spirit, so if you’re on a street journey passing by means of small villages, you’ll typically find individuals selling their own home-grown organic fruit and veggies, and typically eggs as nicely.
Someplace close to my hometown there’s even an ostrich farm promoting ostrich eggs! Even youngsters from poor families typically make a bit of pocket cash out of selling wild raspberries, blackberries, and purple currents that they decide from the forests.
Level being, there are a number of nice fruit and vegetable options obtainable in Romania, so the selection to make an excellent salad is all the time there, however it really is determined by the individual household’s sense of duty and priorities on the subject of their eating habits.
At the end of the day though, we’ve one major statistic behind us, which is that, regardless of eating comparatively a lot fewer greens, Romania is definitely stated to be the EU country with the lowest price of weight problems in adults (relying on the supply)—with huge enhancements made in this space since a decade in the past. As a rustic, we have to be doing one thing right.
Where can I purchase Romanian food?
This one is a bit more tough, as a result of Romanian cuisine shouldn’t be as well-known globally as cuisines from different nations, so it’s more durable to seek out for those who’re not truly in Romania itself. Once I lived in China, I beloved consuming at Greek and Iranian eating places, because the food was the closest factor that would remind me of house.
Nevertheless, China is an enormous place with not that huge of a Romanian population general. However with an estimated eight to 12 million Romanians dwelling outdoors of Romania, you’ll be able to guess that there are various cities by which you’ll find Romanian eating places or Romanian food supply outlets that import favorite Romanian components for the local Romanian immigrants to make use of.
A quick Google search presents choices for Romanian eating places in Rome, London, Barcelona, Paris, Anaheim, Long Island, and lots of extra. When you’re in a rustic with a variety of immigrants, you’ll be able to guess there will probably be some Romanians amongst them who missed house an excessive amount of to withstand the urge to open a Romanian restaurant.
What are some well-known Romanian drinks?
Within the article I’ve talked about plenty of favorites—vișinată (black cherry liqueur), țuică (plum brandy), and Ursus beer. Romanian wine can also be recognized for being excellent, some insist even higher than French or Italian wine, although I’m really no wine skilled so I do not know what to advocate. One final drink that I actually love is Romanian eggnog, which is known as “lapte de pasăre”, which means “bird milk”, though this is extra of a “Grandma makes it for me when I have a sore throat” type of drink, and isn’t served in a variety of restaurants. Nevertheless, for an additional good, warm drink, Romanians also make a imply mulled wine, which you’ll easily find being bought by distributors at Christmas markets should you’re ever visiting Romania within the wintertime.
Did I omit your favorite Romanian food dish?
That’s it for this Romanian food guide. Whatever you eat when you’re in Romania, I’m positive it’ll be value your while traveling to Romania, and undoubtedly value the additional little bit of stomach fat you’ll go residence with.
Have you tried any of these Romanian delicacies? What are your favorites? Share your favorite Romanian food dishes with us!
Wanna make your personal Romanian food?
Try these 7 straightforward Romanain meals recipes
Tell me what you assume and share your favorite food locations and different recommendations on Romania!
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