10 Romanian dishes you should try

10 Romanian dishes you should try!

Romanian food is delicious and very diverse from cultures that invaded us in the past, such as Hungarian, German, Turkish and Slavic but interpreted and flavored  with local herbs and spices. 

                10 ROMANIAN DISHES YOU SHOULD TRY

I am a fellow Romanian, so I am not that partial, but what I can tell you is what every Traveler tells me: that Romanian food is delicious. And I will not disagree. I am vegetarian, so for me is more difficult to find a dish, because they are mainly with pork.

 
Our traditional cuisine is very rich and diverse, which will spoil your senses with amazing and intense flavors. Romanian cuisine is not as fancy as French cuisine, which I adore, being French now, nor too spicy or too complicated either. One particular thing about Romanian dishes is that they are very easily made, everyone can make them, and you will find all the ingredients you need, everywhere in the world.
 
Pork may be the most beloved “vegetable” in Romania, but there are also a lot of soups and ciorba. This is one of the things I miss in France. A good hot soup, made by my mom, that cures everything. You are sad, you are stressed, you have a headache, your stomach hurts, you have the flu, everything can be cured with a Romanian soup.
 
 
Romanian traditional cuisine is in fact a mix of dishes and cooking from cultures that invaded us in the past, such as Hungarian, German, Turkish and Slavic but interpreted and flavored with local herbs and spices. 
 
Romanian cuisine is part of Balkan Cuisine. Balkan cuisine is a type of regional cuisine that combines characteristics of European cuisine with some of those from Western Asia. It is found in the Balkan Peninsula of Southeast Europe and includes modern countries, such as Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece, and the former Yugoslavia. Balkan cuisine can also be found in Vienna as a result of post-WWII migration to that city.
10 Romanian dishes you should try
 
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                10 ROMANIAN DISHES YOU SHOULD TRY

I am a fellow Romanian, so I am not that partial, but what I can tell you is what every Traveler tells me: that Romanian food is delicious. And I will not disagree. I am vegetarian, so for me is more difficult to find a dish, because they are mainly with pork.

 
Our traditional cuisine is very rich and diverse, which will spoil your senses with amazing and intense flavors. Romanian cuisine is not as fancy as French cuisine, which I adore, being French now, nor too spicy or too complicated either. One particular thing about Romanian dishes is that they are very easily made, everyone can make them, and you will find all the ingredients you need, everywhere in the world.
 
 Pork may be the most beloved “vegetable” in Romania, but there are also a lot of soups and ciorba. This is one of the things I miss in France. A good hot soup, made by my mom, that cures everything. You are sad, you are stressed, you have a headache, your stomach hurts, you have the flu, everything can be cured with a Romanian soup.
 
 
Romanian traditional cuisine is in fact a mix of dishes and cooking from cultures that invaded us in the past, such as Hungarian, German, Turkish and Slavic but interpreted and flavored  with local herbs and spices. 
 
Romanian cuisine is part of Balkan Cuisine. Balkan cuisine is a type of regional cuisine that combines characteristics of European cuisine with some of those from Western Asia. It is found in the Balkan Peninsula of Southeast Europe and includes modern countries, such as Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece, and the former Yugoslavia. Balkan cuisine can also be found in Vienna as a result of post-WWII migration to that city.
10 Romanian dishes you should try

1. SARMALE (CABBAGE ROLLS)

Considered to be Romania’s national dish, these stuffed cabbage rolls are actually Turkish.

The initial recipe was strongly modified thou. A mixture of rice and minced meat (pork or pork combined with beef) and other vegetables and local herbs is rolled in cabbage leaves or young grape leaves.
 
I prefer the vegetarian ones made with mushrooms instead of meat and rolled in pickled cabbage leaves and slowly cooked in clay pots in the oven, covered in water, some cabbage brine for sourness, and some slices of traditional bacon for a tasty smoky touch (if vegetarian, then you simply don’t use it).
 
Traditionally served with mamaliga (polenta) and sour cream, the Romanian cabbage rolls are not only delicious, but very creamy, consistent, and very heavy on your stomach. Plan a nap for one hour afterward.

2. SALATA DE VINETE (ROASTED EGGPLANT SALAD OR CAVIAR D'AUBERGINE)

This is my favorite Romanian dish that I prepare for my friends in France and they simply adore it. Like, they get mad at me if I don’t bring the caviar d’aubergine when we meet for Apéro.

It’s also one of the most cooked and eaten Romanian appetizers. It is easy and quick to make, and you can top it with tomatoes or feta cheese.

The traditional way to prepare it is to roast the eggplants on a grill until they become soft, roast them on the stovetop, or bake them in the oven. I simply put them in the oven in Paris, which is simpler, but in Oradea, my hometown, I like them roasted on the stovetop. They have a different flavor from the roasting. 

Afterward, all you have to do is remove the skin, chop them with a wooden knife, and dress them either with sunflower oil and chopped onions or mayonnaise and garlic. In Romania, they will dress them with homemade mayonnaise, but I prefer olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. 

 
10 Romanian dishes you should try
10 Romanian dishes you should try

3. MICI (BBQ MEAT ROLLS)

These homemade Meat Rolls are called Mici (which will translate as “small” or ‘little’ and pronounced “Meech”) and they are the most popular Romanian grill dish. There is no BBQ without these tasty meat rolls. Mici or mititei is street food in Romania and they are loved by everyone that is not vegetarian. I used to love them at every Sunday BBQ with mustard.

These meat rolls are made of different combinations of ground meat, black pepper, and other spices, and they are grilled until they darken a little and become moist and soft.

They are served simply with mustard and bread. You can find mici in restaurants, in fast foods, in street food shops or you just can buy the mixture from any grocery store, fresh or frozen, ready to be grilled or fried whenever you feel like it.

 

They go very well with a cold pint of Romanian beer and french fries.

 

4. CIORBĂ DE VĂCUȚĂ (ROMANIAN BEEF SOUP)

Ciorba de Vacuta (pronounced: ch-orba de vah-kutsa) means Beef Soup in Romanian. It is one of the classic chorba in Romania, that you will find everywhere and it used to be my favorite Romanian chorba. Nowadays, when I go home, my mom makes it without beef. it is still good, but it tastes better with the beef.

There are 3 key ingredients in almost every ciorba: borsch (or lemon juice as a substitute), leustean (lovage), and sour cream. I personally don’t add sour cream to my chorbas. I find them lighter without.

Borsch is a sour liquid made from fermented wheat germ. It is added to give a characteristic sour flavor to our chorbas. Luckily, a similar flavor can be achieved by using fresh lemon juice, but trust me, it is not the same. When I am in Paris, I go to a Romanian supermarket or even a Russian supermarket. They both have the borsch. 

10 Romanian dishes you should try
10 Romanian dishes you should try

5. Ciorba de burta (tripe soup)

The Tripe Soup is another traditional Romanian chorba made with beef tripe, garlic, sour cream, eggs, and vinegar. With an amazing creamy texture, it’s one dish that you either love or hate it. Personally, I’ve tasted the original recipe once in my life. I did not hate it but did not love it either. 

If you are like me, I have a piece of good news. There is a vegetarian version of this chorba and is so close to the original that you don’t even know you are eating mushrooms instead of beef tripe. This version I love.

6. Salata de Boeuf (Oriental Salad or Beef Salad)

This Oriental Salad, is a traditional salad made for Easter, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. We like to go wild on decorations on top of the salad, don’t ask me why. It can be served as a side dish, or as a meal on its own. You can make it with beef, turkey or chicken, potatoes, peas, and lots of mayonnaise. If you don’t like the mayonnaise, you can add greek yogurt which is not that heavy for your stomach, and then it will taste like the greek version of the oriental salad.

We call this “salata de boeuf” which is actually French for beef, so this literally means beef salad. You can make it vegetarian, without the beef, and tastes very good.

10 Romanian dishes you should try
10 Romanian dishes you should try

7. PLACINTA CU VARZA MURATA (PICKLED CABBAGE PIE)

This is my favorite pie in the world. It is not known in all the country, it’s from Transylvania. So, you could call it, Dracula’s pickled cabbage pie. Some make it with sweet cabbage but it does not taste the same, trust me, or with mashed potato, or with sweet Romanian homemade cheese.

I prefer it by far with pickled cabbage. You have to taste it to understand. You can fry it on a pan on the stovetop, or put it in the oven, it will get a crusty layer. Both versions are very tasty.

8. Mamaliga cu branza (Polenta with cheese)

Romanian Mămăliga it’s a substitute for bread.  It is a Romanian national dish and used to be considered peasant food. However today you will find polenta in different interpretations on nearly every menu in the finest restaurants.

Is usually served with a dollop of sour cream on top.  It is similar to cornbread but the addition of eggs, cheese, and milk are very tasty. 

10 Romanian dishes you should try
10 Romanian dishes you should try

9. COZONAC CU NUCA (WALNUT BRIOCHE)

A Romanian will never go for a Panetone for festive holidays because we have our own brioche, better than Panetone.

A traditional Romanian Cozonac is filled with lots of walnuts and chocolate. This cozonac tastes like a sweet milk brioche and is best served with warm milk. We usually eat the cozonac on Christmas and Easter. I simply adore the cozonac cu nuca. You can make it also with sweet poppy seed. I personally don’t like it. You can also add inside the brioche raisins or other dried fruits or some Turkish delight.

Our neighbors, Bulgarians call it kozunak, Armenians have the choereg, Greeks call it tsoureki, Israeli cuisine has the wonderful challah and the French have fashioned it as brioche. 

10. PAPANASI (BEIGNETS) WITH SOUR CREAM AND JAM

I’ve left the Best for Last. This is my favorite dessert in the world.

Papanasi or French Beignets is a traditional dessert originating from the northern part of the country but popular among all Romanians. It is a high-end dessert recipe.

Papanasi are a kind of fried cheese doughnuts or French beignets, best served hot, with sweet and sour cream, and preferably, blueberry jam. But you can add a different type of jam if you prefer. I find they go even better with wild berry fruit jam. Maybe it doesn’t sound too appetizing but the taste is absolutely divine!

10 Romanian dishes you should try

ROMANIAN CULTURE IN PICTURES

10 Romanian dishes you should try
10 Romanian dishes you should try
10 Romanian dishes you should try
10 Romanian dishes you should try
10 Romanian dishes you should try

MY FAVORITE ROMANIAN RESTAURANTS

10 Romanian dishes you should try

Graf Restaurant & Pizzerie

Oradea

CUISINES
French, Steakhouse, Seafood, Barbecue, European, Central European, Romanian, International

SPECIAL DIETS
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options

10 Romanian dishes you should try

Restaurant SABRES

Timisoara

CUISINES

Seafood, Mediterranean, European

SPECIAL DIETS

Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options

10 Romanian dishes you should try

THE ARTIST

Bucharest

CUISINES

European, Contemporary

SPECIAL DIETS

Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options