SARMALE

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:))))

Enjoy

sarmale

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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!

Enjoy!

breakfast

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.

Enjoy:)

Green nuts – my personal favourite treat

What I love about Romania? Well, one of the things I love most and this dates of course from my childhood..green wallnuts, or let’s say the core but when the walnuts are still green in the trees.

How you obtain the great thing? You simply take a knife and carve the core out of the walnut peel it and eat it. It’s great!If you don’t have such young fruit, you just take a hammer, like I did, and just break the nut, take out the core thing..and eat!

yummy!

seasoned with red organic wine made from grapes straight from your own private garden..I would call it a night!

P.S. Most people like the green nuts jam as it is considered a delicacy in Romania. It looks like this and you will find recipes all over the blogosphere..

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.

So..it’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.

 

The Easter Fast

The Easter Fast  is the longest and toughest fast from the Orthodox calendar. It lasts 7 weeks (26 Feb-15 Apr this year) in which the believers and keepers are forbidden to eat meat, dairy or any food that contains animal fats. Besides the alimentary fasting, they also have to behave moraly, repent, stop making sex, go to church, do good deeds.

Why I am writing about this religious custom? It is because this tradition is so big that influences food producers to launch new fast items (soy, vegetable pate, vegetable cheese, vegetable ready meals, sweets etc)  and retail companies to order and fill their shelves with vegetable based products.

Many regular consumed products throughout the year are receiving stickers “de post” (for fast) and are highly promoted. So what Romanians eat these days? A lot of french fries, rice, vegetable stew, vegetable margarine, soy schintzels, beans, cabbage, spinach, eggplant salad, vegetable soups, biscuits salami, jam and more.

Twice in this period, it is allowed to eat fish: on “Buna Vestire” (the Good News, March 25th, when Virgin Mary was announced to be Jesus Mother, by Archangel Gabriel) and also on”Florii” (the entrance of Jesus in Jerusalem a week before his crucification). On these 2 occasions, you will definetely smell fish everywhere in Romania, even if you are in a big city or in the smallest village.

As I think about these traditions, they are of course old, and people let’s say are not so into religion and penitence anymore, but at the end, these small things keep us unite and our history as nation alive. Through small customs like what we eat on a certain date and how we behave, I think all Romanians are connected.

Oh, and i forgot to say how healthy is to fast and how good can the veggies taste:) Check out some nice recipes here.