Could Romania be an as-of-yet undiscovered foodie paradise?
The answer to that question is generally a resounding NO. My friends who spent some of their gap year in Romania described the food as ‘cheese, inside meat, inside cheese, inside meat.’ A Romanian once told me that there is no such thing as Romanian cuisine. And the processed meat buffet breakfasts of Romanian hotels don’t do much to help the reputation.
Yet the country abounds with traditional recipes characteristic of wholesome grandmother cooking which seem particularly geared to wintry evenings by firesides. Whats more, the Romanian countryside boasts some of the most natural and diverse agriculture in Europe. With regional specialties, homemade fruit brandy, cottage industry honey products and fantastic farmers markets, traditional food has not yet become the pretentious exception to the rule – as in the rest of Europe.
The Hungarians have their goulash, the Polish have their pierogi. Perhaps it’s about time people woke up and smelt the mamaliga – Romanian cuisine deserves a closer look. And what better place to start than a full 3 course Romanian meal, from pre-dinner nibbles all the way through to a selection of desserts, courtesy of They Draw and Cook, a fantastic website that contains the biggest and best collection of illustrated recipes anywhere.
*Legendary pretzels by Raluca Anghel
*Boeuf Salat by Biby
*Stuffed cabbage rolls by Laura Raduta
*Fried fish fillets and mamaliga by Laura Soltuzu
*Bezele with forest fruits and nuts by Cornelia Varlam
*Papanashi by Alexandra Alice
*Romanian boiled wine by Adriana Adri
You can check out more illustrated recipes on the They Draw and Cook website, discover more regional recipes using the World Map, or even submit your own recipe. The team behind They Draw and Cook have a sister website They Draw and Travel, which features beautifully illustrated maps from across the world.