Top 3 Romanian Recipes

Food plays an important role in Romanians’ way of thinking and it is often the key element around which numerous events revolve. From ordinary family gatherings to special occasions such as marriages, birthdays or holidays like Christmas and Easter, the most frequently asked question is “What will we serve people?”. With such focus on the matter, it’s no surprise that we can write for ever about Top 3 Romanian Recipes. Let’s concentrate, however, on some definite winners. Hope you will want to try and make these yourselves after reading the article, good luck for that and let us know how it went in the comment section.

The more or less traditional “sarmale”

This popular Romanian dish is considered one of Romanians’ most traditional dishes though some say that its origin is Turkish. I will include it in the list of Top 3 Romanian Recipes, however, because the Romanian recipe and the way it is prepared are very different from the Turkish one. You need some real talent to cook “sarmale” (cabbage or wine leaves stuffed with a mix of rice, different vegetables and minced pork meat traditionally boiled in a clay pot). It is usually transmitted from mother to daughter and there are anecdotes saying that if a young woman knows how to prepare the “sarmale” she will definitely be a good wife! If you don’t have such an experimented “wife” within your reach, you could try any of the traditional restaurants which can be found in almost every city in Romania.

100% Romanian: “bulz ciobanesc”

The Romanian shepherd (traditionally called “cioban”) is at the origin of this second dish: “bulz ciobanesc”. You should know that, when the spring comes, the true shepherds take their sheep and go on the mountain where the pastures are richer. They return on the eve of winter, their journey back being called “transhumanta”. All the knowledge about crossing the mountain safely without getting lost or injured is handed down from generation to generation. As they have to cook for themselves during their journey, shepherds have thought of this quite simple but very delicious dish.  First, you boil some maize flour in order to make a “mamaliguta” then you make some balls out of it which you fill with butter, sheep cheese and small bits of ham. People at home also put it in the oven for a few minutes and then serve it hot with cream on top. An interesting experience would be to eat this dish together with a shepherd surrounded by its sheep and the mountainous landscape.

No Christmas or Easter without a “cozonac”

It’s time for something sweet as well. The Romanian tradition says that if you have “cozonac” (sweet bread filled with raisins, cocoa or nuts) on the table then you are celebrating something. Indeed, it doesn’t feel like Christmas or Easter without the amazing smell of freshly baked “conozaci” (the plural). They are delicious when they are just taken out of the oven and no child can resist them. In the countryside, women who live in the same area, usually gather at one house and make the “cozonaci” together. This takes a whole day and night, as every woman has to take home 15-20 “cozonaci”. It’s a real feast!

There are a lot more Romanian dishes that would delight you for sure, you just have to come and try them.

Leave a Reply