Having the shape of a grape, our country “Moldova” is proud not only of the wines, well-known all over the world, but also with its special culinary culture.
Like nowhere else Moldavian cuisine includes dishes of several specific cuisines. Our culinary traditions vary from one region to another, sometimes even from village to village and all this is due to its geographical position, being a bridge between the Balkans and Asian culture and European culture, being on the brink of Slavic and European countries.
The chronology of Moldova includes incursions and historic periods through which different nations had crossed this land: Turks and Tatars (during the Ottoman Suzerainty), Greeks (Phanariotes), Slavs (during the capture of Bessarabia by the Russian Empire), Bulgarians (following the Russo-Turkish Wars, being volunteer), Ukrainians and Romanians (being at the border with Moldova). All these nations have made their contribution in our history, but also in our national cuisine.
Below are listed the specific meals that have taken roots in our country:
Period of Phanariote – Greeks and Greek cuisine. The plates are specific to the Mediterranean area. There are specific dishes that use more fresh vegetables and vegetable oils – moussaka, mash of beans, salad from fresh cabbage finely cut, baked pies with a variety of stuffing, as a rule meat and vegetables, fish soup.
The Ottoman Empire and Turkish cuisine. This is the cuisine that left perhaps the most remarkable print. The plates served in Moldova nowadays are: rolls in cabbage or vine leaves (dolma), filled and steamed vegetables (pepper, eggplants, tomatoes), fried eggplant and peppers, meatballs or patties, shepherd salad, lentil soup, beans, chickpea.
South of Moldova, Gagauzia, meets guests with gozleme, kavurma, bulgur, pilaf, halvah and baklava.
Russian Empire and Russian cuisine. The Soviet Period was a long-lasting one and the Moldavian cuisine has borrowed several new dishes – rassolnik (soup with pickled cucumbers), solyanka (thick, piquant soup), okroshka (cold soup), pelmeni (dumplings), jelly, skewers and minced meat croquette, the famous salad Shuba (Herring with boiled vegetables), and for dessert pies with various stuffing, pancakes.
The Influence of the Balkans and the Bulgarian cuisine. Bulgarians have thought us to cook – vegetable pots, the famous Shopskii salad, the sponge cake and the knot –shaped bread.
The border with Ukraine and the Northern Moldova. Moldovans, especially those situated North of the country share the traditional dishes with the Ukrainians – borsch (soup made of beet) kapusniak (stewed cabbage), Kasha (porridge of buckwheat) and sliced bacon.
After all this you will wonder: “What is traditional for Moldova? What is Moldova proud of? Moldova-Online is ready to answer your questions and invites you to enjoy the traditional Moldavian cuisine.
The Moldavian traditional cuisine is characterized by a wide use of vegetables, fruit, and various spices, fresh and dried condiments. Zucchini, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, beans, radishes, onions, cabbage, various pickled vegetables (pickles are very often used in cooking). Garlic, pepper, thyme, lavage, celery, dill, parsley are making meals more savory, more tasty.
Dishes cooked according to traditional recipes are:
Polenta – Moldovans second bread always on the table. A mixture of corn flour ripped in a pot. Usually served with sheep cheese, sour cream, vegetable stew and roast meat or fried fish with garlic sauce (chopped garlic with some spices and additives).
Rice rolls wrapped in vine leaves – are smaller in size than the local Turkish rice rolls that are wrapped in cabbage, patience, wild garlic or coltsfoot. During the Lent they are filled with cereal and steamed vegetables instead of rice and meat.
Chicken soup – soup usually contains home-made noodles (noodles are actually inherited from the Tatar Golden Horde).
Beat Beans – cold mashed beans- the most popular dish during The Lent.
Nettle soup – is as a traditional soup served during The Lent and in spring.
Hot dishes of lamb, calf, pork, poultry, fish are often cooked on grill or stewed in clay pots also are widespread and smoked. Meat and meat dishes have a special place in the national cuisine – for example the Christmas pig and the slaughtered Easter lamb.
Pies and baked spun with various fillings, sweet cakes (usually sprinkled with powdered sugar) are also representative for our culinary traditions. Nowhere else you can serve the traditional dessert – dried plums filled with nuts and an assortment of baked apples, quince and pumpkin. On Easter you can taste the Easter cake, the coliva (sweet wheat porridge) is served only on funerals.
Every housewife of Moldova is proud not only with the Casa Mare (the main room in every house used for guests where tables are served on different celebrations), but also with the cellars that can be found in every family and that are usually full keeping and preserving all flavors and aromas of the summer: different types of pickles, jams, dried and oiled vegetables collected and assorted to fit everyone’s taste.
After regaining the independence, Moldova started to practice and cook European cuisine, especially the French culinary (French salads, pancakes and French cakes, cream soups, Julienne), the Italian one (Italian pasta and sauces, Italian pizza, lasagna), and Greek (Greek Spanakopita, Tzatziki sauce, etc.)
From the beverages you can enjoy the spring water, wine (including home- made), juice, herbal and flowers tea.
The Moldavian cuisine is a real treasure and it makes you recall the words of Mr. W. Pohljobkin who were a really cuisine connoisseur and researcher in culinary, he said “Culinary masterpieces are never preserved in museums, better the taste is, quicker they are consumed.”
We invite you to get acquainted with the traditional Moldavian cuisine.