11 Foods To Try in Romania

Salata de vinete cu vin 🙂

Over the past six or so years I have become quite familiar with Romanian cuisine. Dan and his parents are from Romania so every meal we have is laden with dishes that were once foreign to me but are now, after many nights of pronunciation lessons, staples of family dinner. That being said, I did try a few new types of food during my recent trip to the country. Check out my list below for 11 foods to try in Romania!

  1. Salata de Vinete – My personal favourite! Vinete is a traditional Romanian eggplant dip usually served as an appetizer. I have been eating it for years now so I was very interested to see how vinete in Romania would compare to the one made by Dan’s mom. I can happily report that her vinete is just as good, if not better, than the ones I had in restaurants throughout Romania!
  2. Zacuscă – A dip similar to salata de vinete. This one also contains eggplant but has the addition of roasted Romanian red peppers (gogoșari). Dan’s mom also makes this quite often and it is one of my favourite appetizers to snack on!
  3. Mămăligă – Romanians love their polenta. Mămăligă is a sort of porridge made with cornmeal and is served as a side dish during a main course such as sarmale or any saucy foods.
  4. Ciorbă (borș) – Ciorbă refers to Romanian sour soups typically consisting of various vegetables and meat. Borș is the fermented liquid ingredient used to make ciorbă. 
  5. Mici – Ask Dan or his dad and mici would be at the very top of the list. Before I was a vegetarian I loved this Romanian version of meatballs, too. Mici are grilled meatballs typically made from a mixture of ground beef, lamb, and pork with a variety of spices. They are always served with mustard and, in Romania, are often accompanied with french fries and a cold beer. Perfect for patio season!
  6. Sarmale – These cabbage rolls are traditionally made for special holidays such as Christmas and Easter. The rolls are made of sour cabbage stuffed with a mixture of ground pork, beef, bacon, and rice. As a vegetarian unfortunately I can no longer eat this, but if you are a fan of meat definitely give it a go!
  7. Clătite – Dan’s aunt made us this delicious dessert in Bucharest! Clătite are basically rolled crepes filled (or not) with whatever you like – jam, nutella, sugar, etc.
  8. Cașcaval – The traditional name for a semi-hard yellow cheese made with sheep or cow milk in Romania. However, the name is also used as a generic term for all semi-hard yellow cheeses that look similar to cașcaval. We bought a large wheel of the traditional stuff from a roadside stall – it was fresh from the farm and very tasty! A perfect addition to any meal.
  9. Amandine – I had this chocolate layered cake a few different times during our trip. It is one of the more traditional items available in Romanian sweet shops and a personal favourite of Dan’s. Consisting of layers of chocolate, caramel, and fondant cream, amandine is usually individually served in square miniature cakes.
  10. Chiftele – Another one of my favourites. Traditionally made with meat, chiftele are flattened meatballs consisting of mashed potatoes and spices. Dan’s mom recently made me a vegetarian version and they were absolutely delicious! Google tells me that they can also be made with fish, so I may have to try making those sometime in the near future.
  11. Gogoși – The Romanian version of doughnuts. I tried these pastries for the first time in Sinaia and was not disappointed! Gogoși are deep fried pieces of dough shaped into spheres (with no hole in the center) and dusted with icing sugar. They can also be filled, either with chocolate, jam, or cheese. So yummy!


2 thoughts on “11 Foods To Try in Romania

  1. Luminita says:

    I like our “gogosi”, although ost tourists expect to see the classic doughnuts with the hole in the center. You should also try some “papanasi”, with cheese or with jam. They’re great!

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