So, here we are at my first Friday as a resident of Romania–officially–and my belly is full. Not stuffed, mind you, just that I have been indulging a little more than I should on some fine Romanian food that my mother-in-law has graciously made while we get our place set up, our fridge filled with food and as we shake off the final dregs of moving.
Have I mentioned how much I loath moving? Not the whole adventure of going to a new place and learning about their culture, their customs and of course, their cuisine. But just the packing and cleaning, even more cleaning and then unpacking and rearranging. All of that I could totally do without. But it is a necessary evil and now that it’s in my past I am determined to forget it.
Until the next move.
Over the past few days despite the warmer than usual for October weather outside, we have been eating soup. A lot of soup. Part of it is due to the fact that Romanian cuisine, much like American cuisine (And German, and Hungarian…just sayin’) is wholly based around animals. Meat and cheese reign supreme here, which means that even my well-meaning MIL has trouble coming up with meals that don’t include meat.
Or a side of meat.
Or a side of brânză (cheese).
But holy hell has she knocked it out of the park and since I won’t be back in my own kitchen until this weekend, I’m going to share with you some of what the hubs and I have been noshing on this week.
Here’s a look at Wednesday’s spread which, of course, included Mămăligă, salad and potato soup.
If you’ve been reading this blog since prior to my vegan days, you know how much I love potatoes, so when soup was added–with fresh dill I might add–I was all in. I ate two bowls and killed a ton of the salad, which was my contribution to dinner because a girl needs her fresh veg daily! But the soup, oh sweet baby, the soup! The hot, hearty, veggeriffic soup.
The soup included potatoes, carrots, dill, red pepper, and Mama’s homemade broth.
Those little coffee cups (adorable, right?) you see are filled with Tuica, a Romanian spirit made from plums. You can drink it like a shot, which I often do with my father-in-law, or you can have it like mulled wine (by the way, called Gluhwein in German) with sugar and whole black pepper. Put everything in a pan until its nice and warm…and enjoy. The perfect way to enjoy booze and soup at the same time.
Then we had another soup, made with white beans. Ciorba de Fasole, or white bean soup with carrots, tomatoes, dill, herbs and homemade vegetable broth. It was as hearty as you would expect and SUPER filling, and I was so proud of myself for only having one bowl.
Okay, one big ass bowl, but still. And more Mămăligă than I should have but on the upside, I did eat most of the red & green cabbage salad with a light mustard-balsamic dressing…without oil!
But then there was this weirdly delicious dip type thing that blew my freakin’ mind. I mean, seriously.
I love hummus. I mean, freakishly LOVE it. With roasted red peppers, with curry, with lentils and when I’m feeling adventurous, with kidney beans. But this creation was…YUM.
I’m totally patting myself on the back for taking a picture of the Fasole bătută before I dug in!
If you look closely you can see a pureed white bean base that included garlic, which is an amazing antioxidant, can be helpful in reducing high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Now the top of the Fasole bătută is the real rock star. Onions and garlic cooked in tomatoes. Hot damn y’all it was fantastic! I ate so much of it that I should be ashamed…but I’m not.
I totally am NOT.
Topped off with copious amounts of Tuica and my sincere attempts NOT to butcher the Romanian language so I can interact with my in-laws without the hubs acting as constant interpreter.
And that brings us to the end of week one of vegan eating in Romania. Will you try any of these soups? Do you have any to recommend?
And just in case you thought we only drank Tuica, let me show you my first grocery story beer purchase. Silva, a dark beer brewed here in Romania!
Yeah, go ahead and admire my watermelon blanket while you’re at it!