Given our recent visit to Romania and we had a hard time finding good food due to 1) we thought their cuisine is on the salty side, 2) heavily meat-based, and 3) I didn’t do much research prior to the trip, I want to share with you this guest post on the 5 traditional Romanian dishes you must try. Hopefully, you’ll have better luck than we did!
Romania is fast becoming a top travel destination in Europe. From stunning landscapes to medieval towns, there’s something for everyone. If you’re road-tripping across Europe or in a hire car with kids, you’ll be thinking about the best travel games to play, what attractions will keep them happy, and what types of local foods will appeal to everyone. We’ve got you covered, there. Here are five traditional Romanian dishes that are sure to be a big hit with the whole family.
Everyone loves cheese, right? Caşcaval Pane is beautiful, local cheese, dipped in crisp breadcrumbs and fried until golden brown. It’s common to have it served with chips or mash, or go really traditional with a side order of mamaliga, a sort of yellow porridge made with maize. Give your cheesy treat a bit of zing with some garlicky Mujdei dip.
Salam (Salami) Sibiu
There’s a huge range of different types of salami sausage in Romania. The different salamis are often named for where they’re manufactured, but Salam Sibiu is named for the customs area in Hungary where it is imported, due to the immense volumes of this salami that leave the country. That’s because it’s one of the highest quality salamis in Romania, and must be tasted while you’re there.
Ciorbă de perişoare (Meatball Soup)
Meatballs are such a big hit in most families, and soup is an easy way to enjoy a quick and highly nutritious lunch. This soup has Turkish influences and contains plenty of butter and flavour – perfect for cooler weather or an activity-filled day. This hearty soup might come garnished with sour cream or spicy hot pepper sauce for the more intrepid diner.
Mici, or Mititei, are both words meaning “small ones” and refer to the bitesize nature of this meaty snack. The meat is rolled into a kebab-like shape and may include pork, lamb, or beef. This 19th-century dish is just as popular today as it was back then. The meat is perfectly spiced with a variety of flavours, including garlic, coriander, thyme, black pepper or paprika. Other popular meats include Pleşcoi sausages, beer sausages with just a touch of chilli heat, and smoked ham hock.
Plăcintă cu brânză
This is a traditional pastry which is normally served as a dessert, although it can be eaten as a snack. The pastry is filled with cheese of varying types. Look out for soft sheep’s cheese with juicy chunks of fruit like raisins. Other types of plăcintă may contain apples, potatoes, or even chocolate. Always a hit with the kids and a great way to complete any meal.
These traditional Romanian foods are available at most restaurants. There are always local versions of the most popular dishes, so you can end up doing a food tour around Romania and never quite eating the same dish twice. A wonderful and delicious way to explore this amazing country.