vineri, 4 ianuarie 2013

How to find the best Romanian meals and where to order them

Coming to Romania is not anymore a risky adventure, as it used to be a few years or decades ago. The Romanian are civilized normal people with manners and right behavior, the country is safe and the streets almost o.k. You can find in Romania best hotel chains with most sophisticated amenities, but you can also spend your vacation to a small pension, or at the home of a welcoming local (which I would really recommend !)

You can also find in Romania modern, sophisticated dishes, or fast food, but I hope that you didn't come here to queue to McDonald's, it would be outrageous! Searching and asking the Romanian dishes and specials will make you richer and locals will appreciate and even adopt you (once they did, you can be sure that they will be devoted and borrow you even the shirt)

A very appreciated Romanian dish are for sure the meat rolls, which you taste better with corn mush and creme fraiche. Pair it with a dry white wine, and you will be next to paradise. These meat rolls never lack from any Romanian feast, it has tradition and some special spices for the secret recipes. It is possible to find them in different presentations, rolled in cabbage, or grape leaves, bigger or smaller, with little variations in taste, but they they still are number one.
Restaurant continental from Oradea is a good place to order Romanian specific dishes

There are for sure some regional differences between the certain areas of Romania. A general influence is first of all the refined French haute cuisine, introduced with the second half of the XIXth century, beginning with Bucharest, which has had always excellent restaurants. The evolution of Bucharest restaurants goes on nowadays in a spectacular way  through  the opening of many restaurants with foreign kitchen and dishes!

In Transilvania is a  strong influence of the Hungarian Austrian kitchen. Visiting Oradea, Arad, Cluj Napoca is easy to detect it. An important role play in this area the bacon, as other pig products, with the necessary treatments. They eat bacon practically all year long, which is maybe not the best treatment for heart and blood, but please don't try to tell them anything about cholesterol. They won't understand, will be offended, and will give you another glass of tzuica to forget and burn the fat! The dishes here are fat, spicy and tasty. They use also some vegetables, milk and eggs. The soups are being soured with cabbage and spiced with tarragon. An important thing here are the sauces, consisting on onions with flour. Smoked products are also another issue, used even in the soups. Cabbage a la Cluj is a renowned local speciality, consisting of cabbage combined with rice and mincemeat (add a glass of half dried red wine)
Wine tasting by Tulcea, paired with spicy goat cheese and salad

Totally different is the kitchen from Dobrogea, with strong oriental Turkish influences, but the local conditions played also an important role. They use there oil and butter, and the meals don't fall so bad like in Transilvania. They use also sheep and fish, even pig, but never pig fat for cooking. During the hot season they eat very light, mainly salads, with a glass of cold sweat wine, e.g. Chardonnay from Murfatlar.

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