Romanian cuisine
Many Romanians are gourmands and prepare copious, sophisticated meals with many different courses whenever they have the chance. Holidays, parties, and even just having guests over are occasions for showing off your culinary talents. For older generations in particular, food is the central element of most social events.
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Traditional Romanian food is meaty and fat. Although more and more people are switching to vegetarianism, it is still a rare practice. For most, a typical meal includes tripe soup or ciorba in  the Romanian languagesome steak with a side dish, and desert. A glass of wine or palinca makes it perfect. People living at the countryside usually raise cows, pigs and chickens for food, and make their own wine. Perhaps the one dish that is most talked about in all Romanian lessons on culture and traditions is the sarmale. In the Romanian language, sarmale means cabbage or grape leaves stuffed with ground pork, rice, and sometimes nuts. The sarmale are served with sour cream, chilli and mămăliga on the side. The mămăliga is some sort of corn porridge that accompanies many dishes, as an alternative to bread. The way the sarmale are prepared varies from one region to another, and even from one house to another. Every gourmand has their own recipe on how to prepare the perfect sarmale, and is convinced that all of the others are pure nonsense. Bean porridge with smoked pork is another traditional dish. It can be thin like a soup, or thicker like a porridge. It takes a long time to boil the beans, but the result is delicious. Mashed beans with onion and garlics is another specialty. Tripe soups (ciorba in the Romanian language) are popular all over Eastern Europe. Ciorba de burtä, prepared out of cow stomach, soured with homemade borşand served with sour cream and chilli, is perhaps the “most Romanian” of all tripe soups. Romanians also have many different kinds of white cheese. Perhaps the most interesting one is the one called brânza de burduf  in the Romanian language - a soft, salty cheese made out of sheep milk. To prepare it, sweet cheese is cut into small pieces, salted and mixed thoroughly by hand in a large wooden bucket. The cheese is then placed in a sheep’s stomach or skin that has been cleaned and sewed, or in a pine bark, and can be kept for a long time without going bad. Romanian cuisine has many delicious deserts too. My favorite is the papanaşi, some fried, roll-shaped pastry filled with sweet cheese and jam, and with sour cream and marmelade topping. One other popular dessert is alivenci, a custard tart originally from the Moldova region, prepared with corn meal and cream cheese or salty cheese and sour cream. It is the Romanian language alternative to cheesecake. Home wine-making is an old tradition in the Romanian countryside. People compete with each other in making the perfect wine, and go in wine-tasting visits. It is a long, complicated process that takes several weeks, and is not for amateurs. People have various techniques for wine-making. The quality of the wine depends on the types of grapes you use, and how well-riped they are. Grape-picking and wine-making are social events where the whole family participates.   A visit to the country will guide you through all the best parts of the Romanian cuisine.
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