Traditional Romanian Food
Romanians take much pride in cooking recipes passed down from one generation to another. Some of our recipes require a lot of work, passion and love for cooking. And as our grandmothers and mothers passed down their recipes to us, we want to pass them on to the new generation: our children and grandchildren. During the Festival, you will have also the opportunity to taste these delicacies.
Meat-stuffed cabbage rolls – Sarmale
If you ask any Romanian to name a typical dish from Romania would probably mention you sarmale. These are cabbage leaves, pickled or sweet, stuffed with a blend of minced pork and beef meat, rice, eggs, parsley, tomato paste, onions, black pepper, Vegeta ( a combination of different spices), and rolled by hand. In some parts of Romania, vine leaves are used. The sarmale are cooked slowly in the oven, covered with little water, cabbage leaves and small pieces of slanina, a type of smoked bacon that gives the smoky taste. This dish is traditionally served with mamaliga (polenta) and sour cream.
Romanian Skinless Sausages – Mici
The story has it a popular mid-19th-century Romanian Inn, famous for its sausages, was out of a customer favorite. To save time, the chef formed the unstuffed meat mixture into sausage-shaped cylinders and grilled them over charcoal. The customers delighted in “the wee ones without skin,” and so these casingless sausages became known as mici or “the wee ones.” Mici also can be made with lamb or pork or a combination, and formed into patties or meatballs and grilled, broiled, pan-fried or baked in the oven.
Mititei, or mici as they are often known, are the keystone of Romanian outdoor cuisine. All over the country from the first weekend of warm weather, Romanians are piling their car boots full of garden furniture, barbeques, beer and packets of mici. No drive across the countryside can be considered complete without stopping at one of the many roadside restaurants equipped with an outdoor barbeque expressly for the purpose of grilling mici for passing drivers. Beer gardens in every neighbourhood of every city pump the smell of barbequing meat into the streets luring passersby to a table, a cold beer, and a plate of freshly-cooked mici with bread and mustard. It is truly a Romanian custom and for many, a passion.
Beans Romanian style
This can be a side dish to an entrée of meat or it can be eaten by itself. Pinto beans are socked in water overnight then cooked on slow fire with carrots, onions, garlic, tomato paste, dill, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper. When it is not Lent time (during Lent, Romanians abstain from eating meat) we add also smoked sausages.
Barbecued chicken served with garlic sauce (mujdei)
Although pork is the main meat that is always found in the Romanian cuisine, we can
also eat grilled chicken served with garlic sauce or mujdei.
This is by excellence the Romanian spice sauce.A common garnish for Romanian grilled meats, mici (skinless sausages), barbecued chicken, and other such things. No really need for a recipe here, it’s simply garlic (let’s say 4 cloves) crushed into a bowl (or a mortar) and mixed with a little salt, then beaten well with a drizzle of oil (sunflower usually – olive oil generally isn’t recommended) until you get a chunky paste. You then pour in a little water (about 100ml) and perhaps a little lemon juice (not too much), mix, pour into a serving bowl, and serve.
Deep Fried Flatbread (Langos)
This dish entered in the Romanian cuisine through the influence of the Hungarian minority in our country.
It is a mixture of flour, milk (or water), yeast, and salt. The ingredients are mixed and the dough is allowed to rise. Small amounts are shaped and flattened and deep fried in oil. Can be served as is, or with a mixture of cheese and dill, or with sweet preserve.
At the festival you can also taste a variety of traditional Romanian sweets and cozonac, a type of sweet bread made with walnuts.
Sweetbread ( Cozonac )
Cozonac is usually baked at Easter and Christmas. It is a mixture of flour, eggs, milk, yeast, oil, lemon and orange zest. After the dough has risen, small amounts are flattened, filled with grinded walnuts mixed with sugar and milk, and then shaped as a bread and baked in the oven.To bake a truly delicious sweetbread always represents a challenge. Old experts say that the quality of the flour used is very important, but kneading the dough with a firm hand and baking the bread in a tightly closing oven make a significant difference as well.
Baclava (commonly known) is a sweet that found its way into the Romanian cuisine long time ago thanks to the he influence of the Ottoman Empire and our neighboring countries. Filo dough are filled with grinded walnut, oiled with melted butter, and drenched in syrup made of sugar, honey and a hint of lemon juice.
Chocolate Sponge Cake (Amandine)