(As chosen by our resident trade marketing executive and full-time Romanian)
This decorative masterpiece is as deceptive is it is delicious; just don’t expect a caramel centre! Arranged in the style of a delicate cake, this eye-catching centrepiece is actually a savoury beef salad made for holiday feasts like Christmas, New Year and Easter. Ever flexible, the dish can be served as a starter, side dish or as a meal all of its own and is comprised of beef (or turkey), pickles, carrots, potatoes, peas, a heap of mayonnaise and optional extras.
Suffice to say, the salata boeuf is not the sort of salad you might see on any weight watchers diet plan, but if you want to show off at a dinner party it’s a novel feast for the eyes as well as the stomach!
Tochitura Moldoveneasca La Ceaun
If you’re aiming for a placeholder traditional Romanian dish, then look no further than tochitura moldoveneasca la ceaun. In truth its popularity is such that each region of Romania has its own take, from transilvanyan tochitura to dobrogean tochitura but with the bias of my advisor in mind it’s the moldavian tochitura that we’re going for today.
This braised pork loin dish also includes smoked pork sausages and is complimented by a side of boiled corn meal (similar to polenta), cheese and a fried egg. It’d be well worth a tour around the country if only to discover your favourite spin on this true Romanian classic.
Sarmale Cu Mamaliga Si Smantana
If you liked the look of the luminescent yellow polenta, then perhaps you’ll consider it alongside these Romanian cabbage rolls with a touch of sour cream. The intricate rolls are actually filled with a mixture of ground pork (and occasionally beef), rice and various herbs and spices before being wrapped in pickled cabbage leaves and baked.
Apparently for an even more traditional feel and a gourmet taste, the sarmale should be cooked in a cast iron cauldron over a small fire and then allowed to sit for 2 to 3 days.
Racituri De Curcan
Set in gelatine made from meat stock or a consommé, this turkey aspic (or piftie) can actually be made using any one of a selection of different boiled meats mixed with onions, carrots, celery, eggs, garlic and bay leaves. Enjoy!
No list of Romanian food would be complete without some sort of soup, just as no full traditional Romanian meal would be quite complete without one. Hailing from the Suceava County on the northern border with Ukraine, ciorba radauteana is a sharp tasting soup made up predominantly of chicken breast strips, assorted vegetables, potatoes, egg yolks, sour cream, vinegar, flour and garlic. What are you waiting for? If you haven’t tried any of the above before, pluck up the courage, do some googling, and let us know how you get on!