A Gastronomic Getaway

Visiting new places, learning about their culture and architecture, and seeing the beauty of natureare experiences that keep attracting seasoned travellers to new places. But travel and food – they’re like a match made in heaven! The possibility of tasting a new combinations of flavourscontinues to draw foodies to new cuisines. So when the two come together, it’s nothing short of pure bliss! This week we’re delighted to explore the culinary facets of a beautiful destination. Eastern Europe has some of the world’s most delicious foods, so come along as we take a food journey to Bucharest!

Romania is big on pork, and our best advice is to let go of your inhibitions and enjoy the authenticity of the country’s cuisine. But if it’s just not for you, Bucharest, Romania’s capital, is also filled with chicken or mutton options. The country loves its soup, so when in Romania, do as the Romanians do. We suggest you kick-start food journey with the famous local Ciorbă de Burtă, a typical soup Eastern European that’s made from tripe. Different regions have a different take on it, though, and you can’t miss Bucharest’s.

Once you’ve tickled your palette with the soup, move on to the delicious starter known as Mititei, a dish invented about 100 years ago that resembles a sausage without the outer skin. Served with mustard, it gives you the Romanian take on a classic English breakfast component. Sarmale, translated to ‘stuffed cabbage’, is another dish you might want to try. It consists of meat (typically pork) rolled in cabbage leaves that gives you a perfect blend of the heavy flavours that belong to pork, coupled with the light crispiness of the cabbage leaves. The unlikely combination is delightful, to say the least! Locally, Sarmale is best served with Mămăligă – a dish made of cornflour that comes with a side of cheese and sour cream that complements the Sarmale flawlessly.

If you still have room in your stomach, we strongly suggest youto try another well-known delicacy:  Ciolan cu Fasole. The dish, which has a large smoked pork hock, is combined with well-cooked beans or cabbage and other flavourful ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, parsley, chilli pepper, thyme, and bay leaves. The burst of flavours in your mouth is simply lip-smacking!

A scrumptious meal always demands to be finished with an equally tasty dessert, and for this course we suggest the fluffy Clătite. This dessert resembles a thinly rolled pancake stuffed with cheese and raisins or sour cherry marmalade. For the chocolate lovers, there’s always the Nutella-stuffed Clătite you can’t go wrong with! If you have a real sweet tooth and could dig into another dessert, next in line should be the famed Papanași. These are sweet dumplings made from cow cheese, cream, and jam that will take your breath away!

After such a satisfying meal, it’s time to wind down with a glass or two of the world-famous Romanian wine. Winemaking is a 2,000-year-old tradition in ‘România Mare’ that has gradually been crafted into the fine art that it is today, having won dozens of gold and grand gold medals in international wine competitions. One of the most popular types of wine that you must try is Fetească Albă, a white grape variety that will completely stun your taste buds. Sounds like a perfect end to your culinary journey!     

- Tanya