Specific tastes and flavors in Cluj

Finally after spending so much time visiting the main attraction sights in Cluj and outside of it we get to the point that I personally adore so much. As you will soon discover, people in Cluj and in Romanialove to eat and especially to prepare the most amazing recipes. Therefore, I guess a post on the specific tastes and flavors in Cluj could be of great help to you.

General overview

Located at the crossroads of civilizations, Ardeal (the region where Cluj is located) represents a true symbol of the east European culture. But how can we speak of culture, traditions and myths without mentioning the traditional foods? It is hard to mention one particular recipe that can describe exactly the specific tastes and flavors in Cluj since Romanians and other minorities (Hungarians, Germans) left such an important mark also on the culinary products. Usually, people in Cluj eat a lot of meat and all kinds of Romanian traditional products that are made of meat and smoked meat: sausages, meatballs, a kind of bacon called slanina.

Traditional food

Every meal in Cluj starts with drinking palica. Palinca is similar to a brandy made up of various fruits which you drink like a shot. We cannot speak of the traditional food in Cluj without mentioning the delicious varza de Cluj, in English translation- Cluj cabbage. This is made of sweet Romanian cabbage or pickled cabbage. The main ingredients for preparing it: cabbage, pork meat, onion, rice, smoked slanina, tomatoes and lots of Romanian secret ingredients. You cannot leave without trying Ciorba de fasole in coaja de paine (Bean soup with smoked meat served in a bread crust). You can also have a little bit of everything, therefore whenever you enter a Romanian restaurant you can order a platter of Romania’s best homemade sausages, bacon strips, pork and chicken pastrami, prosciutto ham, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, chili peppers selected country cheese and olive. We left the best for last, only the most delicious and traditionally prepared sweets: from cheese and apple pies to papanasi (one of my favorite deserts). Papanasi is similar to a doughnut with sour cream and house jam. You should also try cheese crepes filled with sweet Romanian cheese and raisins.

After this amazing experience in the Cluj cuisine you will probably need to go to the gym for a couple of days. We pride ourselves with our food but those who are not used to it might characterize it a bit too much for them to handle. Never mind all the stereotypes, just be creative and try as much as you can from everything.

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