You’ve already seen polenta in one of my earlier posts alongside some fried fish, but now I present you the most famous Romanian combination: sarmale , polenta and hot chilli!

It is not a summer dish at all but when I saw this photo I said this should be my next post and probably my next meal:))))



Breakfast in May

As I have previously told you, we live in Bucharest and of course we eat a lot of  imported fruit&vegetables, pretty much all year long let’s say except summer months and September when really Romanian gardens are full with great produce.

But no matter how good you will find a certain strawberry in Bucharest, think  of one 100 times better and you will understand the taste of  Romanian countryside products. It’s because of the pollution? it’s in the soil, in the air, in the people’s know how? Really I don’t know, but when I go to the countryside I like to enjoy the simple things like this breakfast: garden strawberries and May cherries.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the prices: 10 times cheaper than Bucharest!



Fried fish with polenta & garlic sauce

The small sweet fish (carp, sardines,caras(is this a word in english?:))) eaten with creamy polenta and garlic sauce called “mujdei” is easy to make, “light” and delicious. As probably all traditional  Romanian dishes, is also very cheap.

For example 8 sardines cost 8 RON /1.8 euros/$2.5, polenta is made from corn tassel (1kg costs 3 RON/0.75 euro/$1) and garlic (1 garlic flower costs 1RON/ 0.25euro/ $0.33).

If we make a small total, a meal for 2 which is ready in less than 30 minutes will only cost you 12 rON/ 2.80 euros/ $3.83.


Blackberry BIO Jam

Straight from the Apuseni mountains of Romania, last summer we have gathered 5kg of blueberries!!! It was an adventure going hiking, enjoying the extraordinary vistas and why not, eat some blackberries. There were everywhere! So we couldn’t just pass them …next step, gathering for 2 hours enough to make a great BIO jam.

Ingredients: blackberries from the mountains, slices of 1 lemon, and some sugar (around 3kg max).


Baked in the oven -LAMB

This is the traditional meat that is cooked on Easter and I usually hated it! Until this year when it was really well done (the cook is in the picture, a big THANKS), so now it’s my favourite. I can’t wait to make it again and again and again…

So here’s the simplest recipe in the world: chop the meat in somewhat little pieces to get done really well, mix with salt, pepper, fresh mashed garlic, thyme and a glass of wine; put the mixture in a bag and keep in the fridge until the next day.

Take an oven tray, put the meat and a little oil and water just to cover the meat and then cook for about 2 hours in low heat. With around 15 minutes before it’s done, add another

glass of wine.

Then enjoy in Romanian style with mamaliga (polenta) and pickles (cucumbers and melons in the picture).






Easter Feast

Appetizers..natural and traditional…work well together and look great. This is what you will probably see on every Easter table in Romania.’s fresh cheese, cucumbers, radishes, dyied eggs, meatballs, some lamb meat specialty we call “”drob”‘, olives, cherry tomatoes and roes home made.

As dessert we have a special baked cake, a sort of Italian panettone, only it’s Romanian.


Perfect combinations – Eggplant salad with tomatoes

Since I was a little kid and eggplants were to be found in my village only during summertime, me and my brother had grown an obsession for this homemade delicious dish. So at 34 degrees (Celsius) usually my mom and probably all the other moms everywhere in Romania used to cook the eggplants on the stove and prepare the eggplant salad with onions. Best served with fresh garden tomatoes on top. I remember we would eat it all in a day: morning, evening, between play times, before going to bed, just anytime!

Now when I can find the frozen or readily prepared I just eat but still wait for the summer to have local produce and to cook it myself. The ingredients are just eggplants, sunflower oil and onion.

Check out the recipe …

somewhat explained, it actually misses the part on how to chop the cooked eggplants with this wooden instrument:

from here (

You will see in this blog that most of what Romanians use as ingredients for cooking is coming straight from the garden/local farms, and the recipes are extremely simple.

P.S. A lot of people add mayo to this recipe, but I just find it healthier like this.

1st pic from here (


And I’m starting to find the quintessence of this blog actually with this post….

I just got back from a lunch at probably the most famous traditional Romanian restaurant in Bucharest and I said to myself: I have to show you this Romanian special desert, called “papanasi”. The “i” at the end marks the plural because wherever you will go they are serving 2 of them for a ratio. I couldn’t tell exactly why, as they are quite big and I am always sharing.

But what are the papanasi? Well, they are deep fried donuts with a hole in the center and with a small ball of dough on top. As for the taste, the dough is made from flour,eggs bla bla bla and the special ingredients: fresh cow cheese and meal. The original papanasi are always served with high fat sour cream and sor cherry confiture (jam) toppings.

They don’t seem like a big deal, but you must try it and when you try it make sure you are in the righ place. I usually eat them when in holiday in the mountains or at this restaurant in Bucharest, Caru cu Bere. Oh, and don’t worry abut the price, one portion which you will eat with your partner for sure costs 3 euros.

 So if you will ever be in town, it’s imposible not to get a recommendation to dine at Caru cu Bere. I’ve seen it in all the tourist guides, and honestly it’s worh it if you want to see and eat Romanian traditions:) Located in the historical center of Bucharest, opened since 1879, great atmosphere, live folclor music and dances, it is always crowded: families, young people, old people, a lot of foreign tourists, everybody’s here.

Here’s some pictures from inside the restaurant


and here a recipe (in Romanian)

A Romanian Pantry

No matter where they live, if it’s a small apartment of a big city or a house in a traditional village, most of our mothers & grandmothers have pantrys where they keep all the good stuff you would ever imagine… or not:) So I’m thinking, why not showing to the world a Romanian pantry? I’ve found a perfect blog with a lot of pictures and also I can explain most of the goodies preserved for the cold winters…


So let’s start with the pickles, you’ve certainly heard of these..we love our pickles and there is a big match between the vinegar lovers and the salty brine (I hope you understand what I’m saying, I mean the pickles made with water and salt and the ones made with vinegar). Anyway, we have a lot of options: peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, cauliflower, (green) tomatoes, carrots, watermelon or roasted peppers, or why not, a mix of all the above.

Let’s continue with “zacusca“, which is a vegetable tartinable stew made usually from tomatoes, eggplants, onions, peppers, and mushrooms.I have to add that this dish is usually made in the country side in the yard where 10-20 kg of vegetables are roasted and prepared in a huge boiler directly into a fire in open air.

Romanian housewives (which by the way have also a job, but I couldn’t find a word for the women that have a job but also cook take care of a home, preserve food for the winter etc) also make tomato sauce. Even if you can find a lot of products on the market, they make their own because usually the tomato harvest are really big and people have nothing to do with it so they start cooking this juice. So you can say that we eat healthy out of necesity:) it’s cheaper! Yeah, this is the Romania I love. Here the healthier food is actually cheaper!

Jams, we like jams made with pulp not like jellies; in French it is called “confiture”, maybe you are familiar with this term. Basically, we let the fruit be, we don’t crush it, and we boil it with only sugar and some lemon juice depending on the recipe. This is it! no additional crap added! Some of the Romanian specialties are: green walnut jam, sour cherry and plum jam..

And the last bot not the least delicious, the compotes: from cherries, apricots, sour cherries, grapes, pears, plums, even apples.

And the link I have promised.. a real Romanian village household… just like heaven, press here.

Romanian cheese

There’s nothing like fresh Romanian cheese…the secret is that my country is not so developed as to have everything automatised so..we eat great healthy food coming straight from the country side. The people actually breed cows, sheeps, goats and they make their own cheese which they sell in the markets.

The main types are:

cas (with the s pronounced sh) which usually has just a little salt or none. This is very fresh, you can find it in the markets only during the summer and it looks like this:

And here’s how to make it at home:

or the real thing in a sheepfold

If I would compare it with something I would say mozarella, but I like it more salty.


The most common cheese of Romania which is always salty. Made from cow milk or sheep, it is not missing from any food store. In terms of quality, Romanians like more the sheep one which has more fat and is creamier. The most known area for this cheese is Sibiu, so basically every vendor in the market put’s the tag: “telemea de Sibiu”. Yeah, you don’t have to believe them:)

This one is straight from the shepfold and they actually have a blog where they sell fresh products in Brasov

burduf cheese (bellows)

I cannot quite explain what is like: you definetely have to taste this with some red onion:) It’s very salty and pungent (I’m not sure if this word is correct).

variety in sheep belly

how it’s made the cheese in fir tree bark

Smoked yellow cheese from somwhere in the mountains…doesn’t really matter where because this cheese from the mountains is just worth a world fame!