When you say Romania, you start thinking of Transylvania and count Dracula. But what few people know is that Romania is a country with a great landscape and a great tradition in the art of cooking.
This country was occupied by many conquerors like the Romans, Greeks and Turks. This is why many of the recipes have ancient roots. Even today this tradition in cooking remained. Every region in Romania has its specific specialties.
So if you go to the mountain side don't stay at the hotel. We suggest you take a room in one of the locals villa. Villa managers are serving all sorts of traditional foods and you won't regret it. Hospitality is at high price in their houses.
On the menu we have the original all times favorite: Sarmale. Sarmale is a recipe that takes a lot of time to prepare. For the result to be outstanding, the dish must be prepared a long time before. Locals usually take fresh cabbage and put it in a barrel along with water and salt. They add all sorts of aromatic herbs like basil for example. The cabbage is left to soak in the salted water for about 3-4 months. This operation usually begins at the beginning of autumn so the cabbage is ready by Christmas.
Most Romanians will say that Sarmale are great during holidays. Once the cabbage is ready, a mixture of rice and minced meat will be prepared. Then they take parts of the composition the size of a meat ball and roll them in a cabbage leaf. Out of a bowl of meat and a cabbage you should get about 20 Sarmale. These are then cooked in the oven for almost an hour. Tomato sauce can make wonders to them while cooking. If you want to try this at home don't forget to spice the meat. They should be served warm with traditional bread. A glass of Palinca is also welcome. Palinca is a traditional drink similar to whiskey. The difference is that Palinca has plum flavor.
The middle of the country is also famous for the cheese. If you happen to come that way try some of the cheese. You will find it deliciously divine.
Another thing Romanians are renowned for is soup (ciorba). Their soups are extremely good especially served with hot peppers soaked in vinegar.
The most traditional food of Romania is Mamaliga (corn mush). They serve it hot with cheese, butter and yogurt. Combining this with sarmale and Tuica (grape brandy) will turn out to be a memorable culinary experience.
If you ever find a course of Romanian culinary art don't miss it because it will help you understand a lot of things of an unknown but happy place here on the planet. You can find and taste Romanian food in many restaurants all over the world well known for their great food and atmosphere. Don't worry if you don't find a place where you can learn how to cook Romanian style or other desired styles because there are a lot of books that will help you learn how too cook and maybe apply your knowledge in your own restaurant afterwards.
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