11 Romanian Foods That You HAVE to Try

Have you ever tried out Romanian food? If not, you have no idea what you are missing!

It’s true that some of these recipes are not specific to Romania, but to the entire Balkan area. The difference relies on the spices used because each place has its own flavors that change the taste of the food.

Are you curious to discover what the Romanian cuisine has to offer? Take a look at the following list. And remember: you should try these foods prepared by local people. They know all the secrets to preparing traditional food, the way their grandparents used to do it.

Top 11 Romanian foods you simply HAVE to try

1. Sausage rolls – ‘Mici’ – you cannot say Romania without thinking about them. A literal translation would be ‘small ones’ and while they are no bigger than one’s finger they are completely delicious, especially if you eat them with mustard. They are made out of ground pork, ground beef or ground sheep meat, they are spiced up with pepper, paprika or garlic and they are a pure guilty pleasure.

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2. Beef Tripe Soup – ‘Ciorba de burta’– it sounds disgusting, I know, but once you taste it your senses will go haywire. This type of soup is made out of calf stomach cut into small stripes, carrots, cabbage, celery roots, sour cream and/or garlic sauce and vinegar (the last ingredients might vary according to the region of Romania that you visit).

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3. Polenta with Cheese and Sour Cream – ‘Mamaliga cu branza si smantana’ – ‘mamaliga’ is another great symbol of Romania after ‘mici’ and ‘sarmale.’ It’s very similar to polenta and it is made by boiling corn flour into water with salt and a drop of oil. It can be combined with cheese (a sort of Romanian cheese similar to the cottage cheese) and sour cream, ‘sarmale,’ ‘varza a la Cluj,’ etc.

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4.  Cabbage rolls – ‘Sarmale’ – we’ve talked so much about them that you might think they are wrapped up in gold. The truth is that they are pure delight. Made out of ground meat and rice, the sarmale are rolled into cabbage or grape leaves. They are usually served with ‘mamaliga’ and sour cream.

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5. Papanasi – this is a type of dessert made out of cottage cheese. Normally they are shaped as small donuts and are combined with blueberry or cherry jam. Delicious, delicious, delicious!

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6. Sweetbread – ‘Cozonac’ – Another dessert that will make you want to sleep at the gym is the sweetbread. This is an intricate type of sweet that requires kneading the dough for an hour or so with firm hands. And if they fall off, you bring someone else to do your job but you don’t stop kneading. It can be filled with a sweet walnuts cream or Turkish delight.

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7. Cluj Cabbage – ‘Varza a la Cluj’ – This is a type of meal coming from Transylvania. Yes, the land where Dracula was born! And even Dracula was undecided when it came to his favorite dish: ‘sarmale’ or ‘varza a la Cluj.’ These two recipes are quite similar and  equally delicious.

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8. Lamb haggis – ‘Drob de miel’ – this type of food is a typical Easter one and it is made out of lamb organs. Of course, these can also be replaced with chicken liver and mixed with spices and dill. Once again, it is way tastier than it’s sounds!

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9. Graves with onions – ‘Jumari cu ceapa’ – Romanians might have a million flaws but they do know how to cook their meat. And they are pretty obsessed with it. This type of food is not necessarily the healthiest because it involves frying pieces of bacon but once a year, normally on Christmas, everyone deserves to have a feast.

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10. Beans with hocks – ‘Iahnie cu ciolan’ – What can possibly go wrong when you combine beans and a chunk of smoked hock? Throw some pickles and you will have a savory meal, perfect for winter.

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11. Soup from Radauti – ‘Ciorba Radauteana’ – very similar to the tripe soup, this kind of soup includes poultry meat and thus, it is lighter than its sibling. But no worries: it’s just as delicious!

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If you want to have a memorable experience try these Romanian foods. It is just something that you will regret for the rest of your life if you don’t do it. Are you willing to risk it?

One thought on “11 Romanian Foods That You HAVE to Try

  1. Asides from the cabbage rolls – “sarmale” I noticed that most people love the polenta with cheese, especially if it’s made with some “real” cheese from locals not bought in the store. Romanian food is very tasty, but it’s definitely not for those accustomed to “light” meals.

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