Although Romanian food is not very well known, the cuisine of this country famous for its Dracula castle offers a variety of delicious foods that are worth tasting. Culinary can surprise the audience because it has a myriad of flavors and dishes.
Typical Romanian food may sometimes have variations similar to foods from the Balkans, Russia, Turkey, or the countries of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. The fact is that Romanian history is characterized by multiculturalism and although similar, Romanian food has different characteristics.
Come on, take a look at 10 typical foods from Romania that have been wandering around for you below!
As previously mentioned, typical Romanian food is similar to the food of several countries, one of which is the Balkan country, Serbia. In Serbia, there is sarma, in Romania, there is sarmale which is both foods in the form of cabbage rolls. Sarmale can be found at every traditional Romanian wedding or during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Sarmale consists of minced meat (usually pork or combined with poultry) mixed with rice, spices, and onions, then rolled in fermented cabbage leaves and simmered for hours in a special sauce consisting of tomato juice, sauerkraut juice, and other secret ingredients.
In other parts of Romania, sarmale uses grape leaves as a substitute for cabbage. For vegan options, usually minced meat can be replaced with a mixture of peanuts, chopped mushrooms, and grated carrots. This dish is served with sour cream and hot mamaliga.
- Ciorba de Burta
Indonesians are used to tripe and many dishes are made from tripe. In Serbia there is skembici and in Romania, there is ciorba de burta which is made from tripe. This traditional food has a very strong aroma with a soft texture. This is because tripe is cooked for hours.
In addition to containing beef tripe, this dish also contains beef and pork legs which are boiled for hours to get a delicious gravy. It turns out that the most important part of this meal is not the tripe but the soup. To get a delicious taste, in addition to the bones, some vegetables are used such as bell peppers, celery, carrots, chilies, and parsley.
At the end of the cooking process, a few cloves of garlic are added to enhance the taste and the whole thing is served with chili, sour cream, and toast.
Mititei is the closest thing to Romanian street food. This dish consists of roasted ground beef rolls made from a combination of beef, lamb, pork, and seasonings such as anise, thyme, black pepper, and garlic. Mititei when translated into English means small. This refers to the size of this skinless sausage which is indeed small.
Grilling meat is the most authentic way to prepare this Romanian specialty. It’s therefore not surprising that it has become a Romanian staple whether on picnics outside or at roadside restaurants.
According to a popular theory, mititei was made when a well-known Bucharest restaurant ran out of skins for sausages. Eventually, the chefs had to make skinless sausages to give to hungry customers. Ideally, mititei is eaten with some French fries, a spoonful of yellow mustard, and a cold beer.
After sarmale maybe mamaliga is the second thing that Romanians will point to as an example of traditional Romanian food. This typical Romanian food is almost the same as polenta. Made from corn flour boiled in water and added a little salt and a few drops of sunflower oil or butter.
The result is a delicious cream that will make you forget about the bread. Although the recipe is simple, it takes a lot of practice to know how much cornstarch to use when mixed with water. If the dose is wrong, it will be too runny or too hard.
Mamaliga is usually served with sour cream and traditional Romanian white cheese and is often used as a side dish for varza a la Cluj sarmale and several other dishes.
- Salata de Vinete
Salata de vinete is a traditional Romanian summer dish made from the roasting process of eggplant. Then the eggplant is chopped to form a smooth puree and finally mixed with the sunflower oil, lemon juice, and salt.
Although the name means eggplant salad, this dish is a type of dipping sauce or spread made from eggplant. This dish has many variations and some of the most common additions include egg yolks, raw onions, or mayonnaise. This dish can be used as an appetizer or as a garnish for meat dishes. Usually, the salat de vinete is served cold and combined with mayonnaise and bread. Other side dishes include sliced cucumber or tomato, grilled pepper salad as well as Romanian cheeses such as telemea cheese. This dish is recommended to be eaten with a glass of dry wine.
- Pomana Porculi
This food is an old tradition. Pomana porcului usually occurs in December, before Christmas, and is eaten in honor of a recently slaughtered pig. How to cook this food is to first chop fresh pork in large sizes. Then the meat is deep fried in the face and generally using lard.
Pomana porcului is served promptly to everyone involved in the pork slaughter and it is always served with tuica, a Romanian alcoholic drink. In restaurants, you can also get this dish but the meat is not fresh.
- Ciorba Radauteana
Ciorba refers to a traditional type of soup that can be served in various ways, depending on the ingredients used. But radauteana is highly valued in this country.
Created in the late 70s in the town of Radauti, this dish is an alternative to the tripe soup, ciorba de burta, which is considered too heavy. In addition, many people do not like the special taste of the soup. So ciorba radauteana, instead of using tripe, this soup uses chicken breast.
This dish is topped with lots of sour cream and garlic and vinegar are used to give it a specific sour taste. This is a complete meal, not too fatty and not too heavy. Ciorba radauteana is better eaten with homemade bread.
A thick vegetable stew called ghiveci is one of the most popular Romanian dishes. This dish is made all year round, but due to the availability of ingredients, it is generally divided into two seasonal variants, namely a warm winter version and a lighter summer version.
Usually, the winter version contains root vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, and celery. While the summer version generally contains seasonal zucchini, peppers, or eggplant. Mandatory ingredients are tomatoes or tomato sauce, onions, and garlic. However, the choice of other materials can be varied and easy to adjust according to availability, preference, and comfort.
While the dish is similar to French ratatouille, Hungarian lecsó, or Bulgarian gjuvec, the Romanian version is believed to have been made under Turkish influence in the area. That’s because this food is named after the traditional Turkish earthenware pot.
- Drob de Miel
Drob de Miel is a very famous Romanian dish. Generally, this Romanian food is served during Easter celebrations. Drob de Miel is lamb haggis. This dish looks like long minced meat with a few hard-boiled eggs in it.
This food is made from ingredients in the form of minced lamb, eggs, green onions, and bread dipped in milk first. Then, all the ingredients are seasoned like parsley and garlic and then grilled.
Another version of this dish is made using chicken or turkey instead of lamb. This depends on the type of meat desired. Drob de Miel is served cold and is generally part of the Easter menu.
- Salata de Boeuf
Salata de boeuf in Romanian cuisine is a very common and popular dish. This dish is also known as a beef salad. Making this dish is quite easy because the ingredients are what is left from the ingredients to make the soup plus a variety of vegetables and small pieces of meat.
It also includes pickles and all the ingredients are shaped like a long cake with mayonnaise. Although generally made from small pieces of beef, now many people prefer to use chicken as an ingredient because it is easier to make.
Salata de boeuf is considered a festive dish and is often served at dinner parties, celebrations, and gatherings. This dish is quite heavy and filling.
Typical Romanian food turns out to be unique in shape. Not only does it taste good but the shape is also attractive. Some of the ingredients to make it can also be found in Indonesia, such as sarmale and ciorba de burta.
Are you interested in trying one of the Romanian specialties above? Which food do you think is the best to try?