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:))))
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!
and to be a woman of course! March is here and all the markets are full with flowers and “martisoare” (little charms with red& white cords).
If in other years people use to buy charms with chimney sweepers, horseshoes, hearts and clover, nowadays, the handmade little jewelries are trending. Items like kabalah, shamballa bracelets, cute animals, and Murano glass charms, seems to be selling like crazy.
Tomorrow, 1 st of March as in Romanian tradition, it is the day when women receive from men or sometimes other women 1 “martisor” and why not flowers.
What I especially love is that we will see and smell everywhere fresh spring flowers like tulips, daffodils, snowdrops, freesia, primroses, hyacinths and many more.
Starting April, the wedding season in Romania is ON, and it will end only at the end of October…if not even November. As I haver recently participated at 2 weddings myself, let me tell you about Romanian wedding traditions as they are a lot and quite nice.
So it is said that the future groom has to go and ask for the bride’s hand from her parents, and only after their consent he has to buy the ring and propose to her. In our days, this part is skipped and the groom asks directly the girl. If she says yes, then the next step is to find the future spiritual parents, the Godmother and the Godfather.
The young couple traditionally has to go with some gifts to the future spiritual parents to ask them to assume this role in the wedding. If they accept the gift, then they accept to be Godmother and Godfather.
This step is quite difficult as the Godmother and the Godfather have certain financial obligations to the bride and groom and with the difficult economical situation, some may even turn down this role. So basically they have to buy the wedding candles, to pay for the bride’s veil, “turta”(sort of bride’s cake), the religious service, to bring some guests on their behalf to the wedding and to give a bigger gift at the end of the wedding.
Traditionally they are the Godmother and Godfather of bride/groom’s parents, or other relatives and they used to be older people and also richer:) Nowadays, usually they are good friends of the young couple, with one condition: they have to be married.
After the spiritual parents are found, then it comes the event planning crap as everywhere I guess. In the next post I will write about the wedding day itself.
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.
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 …http://www.len.ro/cooking/eggplant-salad/
somewhat explained, it actually misses the part on how to chop the cooked eggplants with this wooden instrument:
from here ( http://bucataria-mea.blogspot.com/2010/06/vinete-cu-maioneza-si-ceapa-calita.html)
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 (http://www.cevabun.ro/salata-de-vinete-cu-maioneza/)
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)