Situated on the crossroads of East and West, Romania has been conquered and occupied by a variety of different civilizations over the centuries—Greek, Roman, Ottoman, and Austro-Hungarian—while trade with other European countries, such as France, Italy, Poland, and Russia, have also had a profound effect on the language and culture of Romania. Today, this mélange of cultural influences are evident in traditional Romanian food.
On our upcoming expedition, Transylvania: A Journey through Romania & Hungary, you will have many opportunities to savortraditional cuisine, served up with a hearty helping of hospitality.
This itinerary has been planned to offer a variety of traditional dishes— from the elegant restaurants of Budapest and Bucharest to charming rural guesthouses. A special highlight is dining with local farming families where you will feast on fresh, organic ingredients, a truly “farm to table” experience.
The following are some of Romania’s most famous and beloved dishes that you will have the opportunity to savor:
Cabbage leaves filled with ground meat mixed with rice and herbs, this hearty dish is typically enjoyed during the wintertime, and is traditionally prepared for holidays like Christmas and Easter.
Salata de vinete
Eggplant is grilled on an outdoor barbecue to impart a delightful smoky flavor, then chopped and mixed with fresh onion and mayonnaise for a tasty cold salad.
Thought to be Romania’s original “fast food,” spicy minced meat is rolled into a sausage shape (no casing) then grilled on the barbecue. They can be eaten as is, or accompanied with a fresh roll and mustard.
Ciorba de perisoare
This popular meatball soup is soured with lemon, vinegar, sour cream, or sauerkraut juice.
Ciorba de burta
Spicy with chilies and soured with vinegar, this tripe soup is a bit of an acquired taste, but is considered by many to be the ultimate hangover cure!
Similar to ratatouille, this slow-cooked vegetable stew typically includes eggplant and tomato. To this base, a variety of seasonal vegetable may be added: zucchini, green beans, peppers, parsnip, and cauliflower are all popular choices.
Romania’s ubiquitous side dish, this maize mush or polenta, is served at most meals and pairs wonderfully with soups, stews, and meat dishes.
These pancakes, similar to French crepes, can be prepared with savory or sweet fillings, such as ground meat, cheese, or jam.
Fried dough filled with sweet cheese and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
No meal would be complete without Romania’s traditional spirit made from plums. With approximately 40% alcohol content, tzuica is sipped during meals to help stimulate the digestion of fatty dishes.
Romanian wine has a history spanning over three millennia. Romania is currently the world’s ninth largest wine producer and offers a wide range of domestic varieties unique to the area.