Romanian Cuisine – a Plate Full of History

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Much as the country’s culture, Romanian gastronomy reflects its wide and varied history. From the ancient times, the food providing activities of Romanian habitants were agriculture, animal growth and hunting, so the Romanian cuisine has always benefit from a wide variety of traditional meat products, cheese and vegetables.

Over the time, giving the continuous migration and domination of various other nations, such as Ottoman Empire, over Romanian territory and the mix of cultures, Romanian cuisine has been influenced by the Balkan cuisine, the Turkish, the German, the Italian, and the Hungarian dishes. Evan today there is a lot of western influence over the Romanian food.

Romania’s gastronomic culture inherited numerous culinary habits from its invaders and neighbors: the Romans were responsible for the pie, the Turks for ciorba de perisoare (meatball soup), chiftele and ardei umpluti (stuffed peppers), the Greeks for moussaka, Austria brought the delicious schnitzel, and the Bulgarians the various vegetable based dishes, like zacusca, a very popular mix of boiled vegetables prepared during autumn time.

One of the traditional meals is mamaliga, a type of polenta, mostly made of maize flour, water and salt. It was used in the past as a substitute for bread, but today we can find it in most traditional Romanian restaurants, next to pork, beef or lamb dishes, Romanian cheese and sausages (branza and carnati), sarmale or game.

The Orthodox Church had a major contribution to Romanian culinary culture. During religious holidays, it is a custom to cook piftie and caltabosi (dishes made of pork meat) and cozonac – a sweet treat made of flour, nuts and Turkish delight.

Although less known around the world, Romanian cuisine is always a nice surprise for tourists, getting numerous appreciations from those who are eager to try it. It may look familiar at a first glance, but most of the time, a Romanian dish can have a unique taste, giving the spices and the methods of cooking used in this country.

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