Romanian and Moldovan cuisine - our experience

by Anna Suchenek

Vegetarians can forget about eating what they like in Romania or Moldova. The people there, especially in the restaurants, are very surprised when somebody says he doesn't eat meat. Sometimes it seems like the only choice for vegetarians is between potatoes and bread. Generally, there is no big difference between Romanian and Moldovan cuisine. Moldovan cuisine has some Russian characteristics, like tea always served with sugar, while Romanian cuisine is quite fatty, but still very good.
The most typical dish, found in almost every restaurant, is soup. It is served in beautiful small pots and always with bread. That soup is filling, because it has everything: potatoes, vegetables and meat.
Then for the second course comes...of course, meat. It is served with potatoes or "mamaliga," which is corn mush with salad, swimming in vinegar.
Such a meal requires something to wash it down. A variety of drinks are available: water, excellent Romanian or Moldovan wine, and for the brave, strong Romanian brandy ("palinka").
In Moldova we had a good opportunity to experience the countryside cuisine. That food was amazing: chicken heads in jelly, salad made of beans and sausage, and noodles with poppy seeds and cheese. We were shocked by the way in which vodka was served: in huge glass jugs. And of course there was Moldovan wine (see Fabian's essay). At other times, we ate roasted sunflower seeds or dumplings filled with cabbage or cheese, and we drank Coca-Cola.


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