Romanian cuisine

Living in Europe | Access to the culture of the host country/language courses | Romania
 

Contrary to popular belief, Romanian traditional cuisine is quite rich, abundant in simple but delicious meals.

Although it partly represents a mixture of dishes with influences from different countries (Turkey, Hungary, Austria, Serbia), Romanians take great pride in their original, local products.

Some of the most common meals include:

  • mamaliga (a type of polenta which represents a yellow cornmeal mush) along with sarmale (cabbage leaves wrapped around minced meat with rice) and smantana (sour cream);
  • tochitura (a type of stew);
  • chiftele (a large, flat type of meatball covered with a breadcrumb crust);
  • Plescoi sausages;
  • piftie (a jelly made from pork) and many more.
 

Branza is the generic name for cheese in Romania and comes in a wide variety: branza de burduf, telemea, urda, cas and Nasal (the only authentic blue cheese in Romania).

Also, traditional dishes may vary depending on the region of the country. For example, in Moldavia a typical dinner may consist of tochitura (with pork) along with polenta while in Transylvania the most famous dish is Cabbage àla Cluj.

Moreover, food recipes are different from one region to another. For instance, on All Saints’ Day, it is traditional to serve a desert called Mucenici – dough arranged in the form of an 8-figure. While in Moldavia it is used to bake and brush them with honey and crushed nuts, in Wallachia they are boiled in water with sugar and then crushed walnuts are added.

Bucharest abounds with cafes, bistros, pizzerias and fast food restaurants, especially in the Old Town part called Lipscani.

One can also find a vast selection of restaurants with international specialties or traditional dishes, some of the most popular being: Caru’ cu Bere, La Mama, City Grill and Taverna Sarbului and others.