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Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas is Coming: Romanian Traditional Dishes

Leber (Romanian liverwurst)

A Romanian traditional Christmas evening table starts with all kind of sausages. Some specialties are leber (liverwurst), caltabosi (black pudding), and toba (head cheese). Well, I don't like head cheese. Nobody's perfect.

Caltabosi (Romanian Black Pudding)

Toba (Romanian Head Cheese)

After sausages, it is a plate of piftie de porc (pork jelly) that comes. I don't like pork jelly either. So it goes.

Piftie de porc (Romanian Pork Jelly)

Then comes the salada boeuf (boeuf salad), which is one of my favorites.

Salata Boeuf (Romanian Boeuf Salade)

I should be cautious to not eat as much boeuf salad as I'd like, because after it the sarmale (stuff cabbage) are coming. It is the pièce de résistance, and you have to honor them like a real man. The stuff cabbage comes with mamaliga (polenta) and with an ardei iute (paprika).

Sarmale, mamaliga, ardcei iute (Romanian stuffed cabbage, polenta, paprika)

In order to ingurgitate all these quantities of food, drinks are at help. You start with tuica (plum brandy), or other kind of strong spirit, you go on with wine. The bad thing is that just now I am on antibiotics, so forget about alcohol. Life plays sometimes nasty tricks.

At the end comes the cozonac (sponge cake) and a cup of turceasca mica (Turkish coffee, according to Turks, Greek coffee, according to Greeks, some say that actually it's Syrian coffee) - with a sip of cognac, for connoisseurs.

Cozonac (Romanian sponge cake)

If you are not in Romania, and there is no Romanian restaurant nearby, I would advise you to try a Polish place, or a Greek one. Or maybe a Russian restaurant.



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