As a country located in the Balkans, the gastronomy of Romania has great influences from its neighboring Balkan countries. It is a mainly pastoral cuisine, although due to its proximity to the Mediterranean it has acquired products and forms of production more deeply rooted in the south.
This is the case for the popular mămăligă, a bread which accompanies many dishes and that has similarities with the polenta bread of Italy. Romanian cuisine has many varied products of the highest quality, although the most abundant ingredient is usually meat. Soups are also another Bucuresti facet of Romanian cuisine. Elaborated in a thousand ways they are center consumed during the colder months of winter.
One of the most curious dishes of Romanian cuisine and the most consumed by the locals. Bulz is made of mămăligă bread, topped with cheese and grilled in the oven and topped with a fried egg. In some localities like Covasna, it is especially popular. In 2010 they entered the Guinness World Records for cooking the world's largest 50-metre bulz.
This soup is one of the most traditional dishes in the country. It can contain veal, chicken, fish and vegetables. Its base is made with chilli pepper, which gives it a slightly spicy taste, and smântâna, similar to sour cream. Some of its most peculiar varieties are the ciorbă de perişoare, which in addition to meatballs also includes rice; and the cu ciolan fasole, which is served inside a loaf of bread with white beans and bacon. Soups in Romania are very popular especially during the winter months when they can be seen on almost all restaurant menus.
Cozonac is a traditional Balkan sweet found in Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania. Its main ingredients are flour, egg, milk and butter with which a braid decorated with chopped nuts, poppy seeds and sugar is made. It is very common to find them in the bakeries of the country, although the time in which they abound most is at Christmas and New Year.
Cooked on the grill, the name frigărui means to grill. The dish is composed of a skewer of meat and vegetables and enjoys great popularity in Romanian cuisine. The most traditional are those that are made with pork, veal, lamb or chicken. Between the different pieces of meat, there can also be tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and peppers. It is accompanied by a salad.
Of peasant origin, this Romanian starter is similar to Italian polenta. It is composed of unrefined corn flour, hence its intense yellow colour. It is seasoned with sheep's cheese and often serves as a companion to many of the other typical dishes of Romanian cuisine. Formerly it was a bread eaten by the lower classes, although today it can be seen in almost all restaurants in Romania.
This traditional dish of Romanian cuisine consists of a long meatball of minced meat that is grilled. It can be made of veal, lamb or pork, and is seasoned with garlic, black pepper, anise, cumin and thyme. They are usually accompanied by fried potatoes, pickles or peppers, and a spicy or sweet mustard sauce. This dish is associated with good weather, as Romanians usually consume it at barbecues in the countryside with the arrival of spring.
This mixture between doughnuts and a sponge cake, this is one of the most typical sweets of Romanian gastronomy. It is quite a heavy dish because its interior is filled with sweet cow cheese, smântână and covered with strawberry jam and berries. It is served hot and, in most restaurants, usually consists of two balls, with the smaller one at the top.
This stew, similar to Portuguese stew, is one of the favourite dishes of Romanians in the cold winter months. It is made up of meat, usually chicken, duck or goose, although it can also be beef, pork or sheep. The dish includes potatoes and some vegetables such as carrots, onions and tomatoes. Its main peculiarity is that it is usually served in two parts, first the soup and, separately, the rest of the ingredients. It can be accompanied by Mujdei, a Romanian garlic sauce very popular in the country.
Sarmale is one of the most consumed dishes in Romania. It consists of cabbage stuffed with meat or vegetables and rolled into a cabbage wrap. Both its appearance and its taste is similar to the Greek or Turkish dolmades. In Romania they usually serve the dish during important celebrations and it is accompanied by mămăligă, a bread made from corn flour and smântână a yoghurt sauce.
Very popular on the menus of traditional restaurants, this dish is a meat and potato stew. It is a popular winter dish that is usually composed of veal, chicken or pork. Mămăligă, the traditional cornmeal bread is often dipped in the sauce. Tocaniţă acquires great prominence during the Christmas holidays when it is eaten often.