Romanian cuisine is diverse, blending the dishes of the several traditions which it has come into contact with, as well as maintaining its own character. It has been greatly influenced by the cuisines of its neighbors.
A great number of proverbs and sayings have developed around the activity of eating. From the innocent child’s saying of thanks:
“Thank you for the meal
It was good and tasty
And the cook lady was beautiful”
To the more philosophical:
“Thank you Lord
For I have eaten and I am hungry again”
or the simple: “Appetite comes while eating”.
Romanian traditional foods heavily feature meat. Cabbage rolls, sausages, and stews are popular main dishes. Soups – made with or without meat, or made with fish – are usually offered on menus at Romanian restaurants. Traditional Romanian deserts may be cheese, nut, or apple pies as well as crepes with various fillings and toppings.
“Mamaliga”, better known by its Italian name, polenta, is one of the main traditional dishes of Romania. Historically a rustic dish eaten by peasants, it can be made thick enough to slice and used as a substitute for bread. It is now appearing in some of the more upscale restaurants in Romania, where it is often cooked to a softer consistency and eaten with a spoon.
Pork jelly is a mixture of leftover pig organs, such as trotters, ears, and snouts, boiled in vinegar, bay leaves, chili pepper and lemon and then picked in their own jelly. It is a popular appetizer and, nowadays, is often prepared in a more modern version only using lean meat.
Romanian cuisine is also diverse according to each region of the country.
When we talk about Moldavia we have to mention the famous “poale-n brâu” – small pies made from dough, eggs and cheese, fried in oil in a pan, the well-known “ciorbă de potroace”, a soup with broths which is made with chicken entrails boiled with carrot, onion, parsley, a spoonful of rice and seasoned with „borş” – a homemade fermentation liquid obtained from bran and water.
Muntenia is a region whose cuisine was influenced by the French gastronomy. People who live here like dried prune stew, pumpkin pies, chicken stew with quinces and omlets with onions or poached eggs.
The inhabitants of Oltenia are especially fond of spicy, pepperly meals. Their sausages are famous. The dishes favoured by the people of Banat are very spicy and the combinations are quite refined. The soup prepared in Transylvania is famous throught Romania and tastier when eaten with a wooden spoon. I tis seasoned with vinegar and spiced with tarragon.
Dobrogea is chosen by the tourists for the delicious tripe soup, seasoned with sour cream or the „saramura’ prepared from big chunks of carp boiled on the stove or in a spit in the Danube Delta.