Moldovan Foods

Moldovan cuisine is original and multifaceted, it mixed dishes not only of different nationalities, but also beliefs, which is rare. Nowadays, some traditional dishes are practically not prepared, but the recipes are rigorously passed down from generation to generation.

Description of Moldovan cuisine

The territory of Moldova lay on the largest trade route of antiquity “from the Varangians to the Greeks.” Thanks to this, the locals adopted some of the tastes and methods of cooking from passing merchants. Now the national cuisine of the country is somewhat reminiscent of Greek, Balkan, Ukrainian, Turkish and German.

Table etiquette means painted dishes, exposed especially for guests, a table covered with a bright tablecloth and a festive decoration of the treat. For Moldovans, the way food is prepared and presented is inextricably linked.

Distinctive features

Moldova is famous for its vineyards, poultry and sheep breeding. Most often, dishes from vegetables and grain crops are prepared here; it is customary to accompany each meal with a small amount of wine.

Used as spices:

  • celery;
  • coriander;
  • cloves;
  • red and black pepper;
  • Bay leaf;
  • nutmeg, etc.

Vegetables are mainly harvested for future use: they are salted, fermented and canned.

Since sheep breeding is the most widespread, one of the most popular products has become feta cheese – cheese made from sheep’s milk. It is eaten as an independent dish, added as a filling in pies or included in main courses, salads.

Corn for Moldovans is similar in importance to wheat for Russians. Flour is made from it, which is used for baking bread and cooking porridge.

Due to the gentle climate, many fruits grow on the territory of the country, which are usually consumed fresh. Some of them are used for making desserts, jams, compotes.

Main products

Most of the traditional dishes are vegetables:

  • Bell pepper;
  • eggplant;
  • tomatoes;
  • zucchini, etc.

Many types of meat are eaten:

  • pork;
  • mutton;
  • Domestic bird;
  • beef.

Spices in use:

  • pepper;
  • thyme;
  • garlic;
  • Carnation;
  • tarragon.

Fish is also present in the diet of a Moldovan – it is fried over an open fire or stewed.

The developed livestock sector provides a variety of dairy products.

Corn is the head of everything, bread is baked from it, porridge is cooked and independent dishes are prepared.

In Moldova, they cook a lot of dishes from corn flour and even bake bread from it.

Beneficial features

The abundance of vegetables and fruits, as well as fish, enriches the diet of Moldovans with essential vitamins and microelements.

Drinking a moderate amount of dry red Moldovan wine is good for the body, because improves the work of the cardiovascular system, reduces blood sugar and the risk of stroke, cancer.

Now the average life expectancy in the country is 71.5 years, which is considered a high figure. Local residents are sure that they have reached such figures with the help of a balanced diet and wine therapy.

The history of the development of the cuisine of Moldova

Since ancient times, the Moldovan national cuisine has absorbed the recipes of foreign dishes due to its periodic conquest by other states, which is why it is so multifaceted.

In the X-XIII centuries. the country was part of the Old Russian state, which explains the custom of baking cakes, pickling and fermenting vegetables, and preparing pies with cabbage.

From 1359 to 1538 the region was independent, during this period the gastronomic features inherent in Mediterranean and southern European cuisines become clearly visible. For example, locals often use olive and vegetable oils, dry wine when cooking meat dishes, puff and puff pastry in baked goods, and spicy sauces.

After almost 300 years, the state was part of Turkey, which led to the Moldovans’ love for the combined method of processing products, the use of lamb and the appearance of similar dishes (for example, givech or chorba).

After liberation from Turkish influence, the country was part of tsarist Russia, the USSR, and already the tendencies of those times influenced the recipe of dishes and table etiquette.

Basic cooking methods

In Moldavia in the old days they cooked in Russian ovens, they differed from our traditional ones only in size. Therefore, for a long time, the main method of processing food was stewing or languishing. Subsequently, when it became part of Turkey, the methods of food preparation expanded.

One of the oldest ways of preparing vegetables for future use was pickling and pickling.

They still prefer to fry meat and fish on an open fire, stew or cook.

Thus, heat treatment of Moldovan cuisine means:

  • extinguishing;
  • cooking;
  • frying.

Fruit is eaten fresh, with the exception of desserts, baked goods and preserves.

What do they eat in Moldova

The diet of a Moldovan is heterogeneous. The menu is based on hominy, feta cheese and placinda – a type of pastry that is actively sold on the streets of cities.

Zama or chorba – soups are prepared from hot dishes.

Sarmale, a type of stuffed cabbage, is often made from second courses, givech is a tomato stew, and motatanu is a stew made of pork or vegetables.

From desserts they prefer “Babka Neagra” or “Hat Gugutse” cake.

Meat dishes

The meat is cooked over an open fire on a grill – a grill for roasting over charcoal. The dish turns out to be tender, with a piquant aroma and spicy taste.

During cooking, it is customary to put a piece of meat in boiling water, and not in cold water – it is believed that this way it retains more nutrients. Dishes are stewed in portion pots and with the addition of dry wines, sauces, pickled berries, vegetables and spices.

Vegetable dishes

Vegetables are a favorite product of Moldovans; they are present in almost every dish. It is customary to bake them, fry them, stuff them with other vegetables, rice or meat. Most of the local housewives use tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants, bell peppers and grapes.

Fish dishes

Fish dishes include vegetables or fruits, which make up the bulk of the meal. From spices add onions, parsley root and carrots, with rare exceptions bay leaf. The fish is fried on a grill, baked in portioned pans or boiled in small pieces.

Flour products

In Moldova, they use wheat and corn flour, from which they bake rolls, cakes, cookies, muffins and pies. Various fillings are prepared, but most of all they like to add feta cheese, nuts and pumpkin.

For modern pies and pastries, fillings are chosen from jam, jam, marmalade or custard with nuts.

Festive dishes of Moldova

The number of dishes, their design and selection of products depend on the holiday, religious fast or home ritual.

The festive table in Moldova is set on a grand scale and with taste.

For Christmas, New Year, rolls are baked, a lot of meat dishes from pork and vegetables are prepared.

On Easter, they serve oven-baked lamb and porridge, as well as unsalted sheep cheese, dyed eggs and Easter cakes.

For a wedding or matchmaking, ritual bread is baked. These are rolls, which, depending on the solemn event, have a special shape and are complemented by various ornaments.

National desserts

Since there are many fruit trees growing in the country, the national cuisine is distinguished by an abundance of recipes for marshmallow, jelly, marmalade and jam.

Some of the desserts are borrowed from Russian and Ukrainian cuisines, and some have no analogues in the world, such as, for example, “Babka Neagra”.

Traditional Moldovan drinks

Among non-alcoholic drinks, Moldovans love water, juice, compote or milk. From low-alcohol in use must, kvass, cherry, snake (or raspberry liqueur). They are made both in production and at home. Each housewife has her own recipe for cooking, and since alcohol is consumed with food, the volume of homemade preparations is large.

Until the 18th century. in the country they drank mead, but over time they stopped, and the mash remained in demand and is still used today.

Winemaking in Moldova is widespread; wine is prepared in factories and at home in large quantities.

Rakia – homemade vodka made from sugar beets and molasses, tsuika – tincture of pears, plums or apricots are widespread among spirits.

Divin is a cognac and sparkling wine that is made only in factories.

What to try being in Moldova

Whatever the purpose of the trip, except for the picturesque ancient monasteries and castles, while traveling around this country, you should familiarize yourself with the national cuisine, represented by mamalyga, feta cheese and other dishes. Moldovan wines are highly valued even abroad, and some varieties compete with French drinks.

Hominy

Before the appearance of corn, hominy (pictured below) was prepared from millet; in consistency, it looks like a thick porridge. It is customary to cut it into pieces and eat it like bread with hot dishes, cheese, milk or fish.

At the time of Khrushchev and the general sowing of corn, the Moldovans tried to preserve the original variety that came to them from the Incas, but the American varieties of cereals that were bred to give a large harvest practically destroyed it.

From the new culture, the dish turned out to be tasteless, and pigs were fed with it. Now we managed to return the old variety to the fields, and hominy again became a frequent dish on the tables of Moldovans.

Zama

Chicken soup with homemade noodles, seasoned with bran kvass. The main feature of the dish is the addition of a raw egg, beaten with sour cream.

Zamu is prepared according to the following recipe:

  • chicken – 0.5 pcs.;
  • homemade noodles – 150 g;
  • carrots – 2 pcs.;
  • parsley root -1 pc .;
  • celery root – 1 pc .;
  • sour cream – 4 tbsp. l .;
  • onions – 4 pcs.;
  • eggs – 1 pc.;
  • kvass – 200 g;
  • salt, pepper, herbs – to taste.

The chicken is cut into pieces, placed in a saucepan and poured with water 2-3 fingers higher than the meat, then boiled. 15-20 minutes before the end of cooking, add homemade noodles, fried onions and carrots, parsley root.

Before the end of cooking (for 5 minutes), pour in bran kvass, add salt, bay leaf, pepper, boil a little and season with raw yolk, whipped with sour cream. Season with herbs before serving.

Sarmale

The dish is similar to cabbage rolls, quite hearty and fatty, therefore it is most often prepared in winter.

Ingredients are listed for 45-50 pieces. sarmale:

  • grape leaves – 45-50 pcs.;
  • onions – 1 pc.;
  • carrots – 1 pc.;
  • large tomatoes – 2 pcs.;
  • minced meat – 500 g;
  • rice – 200 g;
  • salt, black pepper – to taste;
  • spices for minced meat – 1 tsp;
  • water – as needed;
  • vegetable oil – 10 ml.

Wash the grape leaves and pour boiling water over for 10 minutes.

Onions and carrots are finely cut into cubes and fried until semi-soft, add meat and fry for 3-5 minutes, breaking the lumps. The tomato is grated on a coarse grater and sent to the minced meat, then washed rice, spices and salt are put there. The resulting mixture is stewed over low heat for 7-10 minutes, until the rice has absorbed all the moisture.

Lay out the grape leaf with the smooth side up, cut off the tail, add the filling and fold tightly.

The form is greased with oil, laid out with sarmale and filled with salted water to the middle of the upper layer. Cover with foil, put in an oven preheated to +180 ° C for 30 minutes, then open and cook at +150 ° C for another 30 minutes.

Placinda

Fried tortilla pie with filling. For baking, draft, yeast and puff pastry is suitable. In the middle, locals like to put cottage cheese with herbs, cabbage, potatoes, meat, apples.

Placinda is a national dish of Moldovan cuisine, which is known all over the world.

Making the dough is easy, you will need:

  • kefir – 200 ml;
  • flour – 400 g;
  • salt – 0.5 tsp;
  • soda – 0.5 tsp;
  • sugar – 2 tsp

Sugar, soda are poured into kefir, mixed thoroughly. Put salt in the flour and pour in kefir, kneading the dough, then cover it with a lid and let it stand for 20 minutes.

For the filling use:

  • cottage cheese – 200 g;
  • feta cheese – 120 g;
  • green onions and dill – 1 bunch each.

Cheese crumpled with a fork, add cottage cheese and finely chopped greens, mix thoroughly.

The dough is divided into 4 parts and the flat cakes are rolled out. Put 3-4 tsp in the middle. fillings. The edges of the future cake are not pinched, but folded in the form of an envelope, then with hands or a rolling pin they give the product a more rounded shape. Fry on 2 sides in a pan until golden brown.

Chorba

Chorba is the name of a soup prepared in meat broth with the addition of raw products. In addition, after boiling it must be diluted with rye kvass.

The composition of the ingredients may vary slightly, but vegetables must be present:

  • potatoes – 4 pcs.;
  • carrots – 2 pcs.;
  • onions – 1 pc.;
  • sweet pepper – 1 pod;
  • celery – 1 stalk;
  • olive oil – 4 tablespoons;
  • vermicelli – 100 g;
  • milk – 0.5 tbsp.;
  • salt to taste.

Peeled carrots and potatoes are placed in a saucepan with cold water, chopped celery, peppers and onions are added. Bring to a boil, salt, pour in olive oil, let it boil for 5 minutes and add noodles.

Chorba is cooked over low heat and seasoned with kvass or milk.

Tokana

A traditional stew-like dish. Most often, vegetables and sauce are added to it during cooking, and they are eaten with hominy.

To create it you will need:

  • beef – 160 g;
  • fat – 10 g;
  • onions – 35 g;
  • flour – 5 g;
  • broth – 50 ml;
  • tomato puree – 10 g;
  • salt – a pinch;
  • pepper to taste.

The meat cut into pieces is fried in melted lard, then chopped onion and water are added, and vegetables are stewed until soft. Then put tomato puree, spices and sifted flour.

Further, the meat, poured with broth, is stewed either in the oven or in the oven at a minimum temperature.

Tokana and givech are dishes that are often present on the table among Moldovans.

Givech

Vegetable stew. It is served both hot and cold, and can be canned.

To prepare it you will need:

  • eggplant – 1 pc.;
  • bell pepper – 1 pc.;
  • tomato – 2 pcs.;
  • carrots – 1 pc.;
  • onions – 1 pc.;
  • garlic – 1-2 cloves;
  • tomato paste – 1 tablespoon;
  • sunflower oil – 60 ml;
  • water – 80 ml;
  • sugar – 1 tsp;
  • salt and black pepper to taste.

Finely chop the onion, grate the carrots and fry. Peel eggplants, tomatoes, bell peppers. Cut the vegetables into cubes, put them in a frying pan. Saute for 7-8 minutes and add spices, garlic and tomato paste. Next, pour hot water, cover with a lid and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

“Baba Neagra”

Dessert of unusual consistency – porous and elastic, such a dough does not look like mousse, pudding, or biscuit. For kneading, take only white products, and the dish comes out dark in color. The cooking process takes over 3 hours.

To bake Baba Neagra you will need:

  • eggs – 10 pcs.;
  • kefir – 300 g;
  • milk – 500 g;
  • wheat flour – 300 g;
  • sugar – 300 g;
  • vegetable oil – 200 ml;
  • soda – 1 tablespoon;
  • vodka – 2 tablespoons;
  • butter – 5-10 g.

Stages of making a national dessert:

  1. Beat the eggs into a dense foam.
  2. Sift flour, add salt, sugar, mix.
  3. Pour kefir into the mass and mix again.
  4. Milk and vodka are slowly introduced – each time the resulting mass is thoroughly stirred.
  5. The beaten eggs are carefully poured, keeping the consistency as light as possible.
  6. The oven is heated up to +200 ° С. Pour the mixture into a thick-walled dish, greased with butter, cover with a lid and foil, bake for 90 minutes.
  7. The temperature is reduced to +100 ° C and baked for another 90 minutes.
  8. The dessert is not taken out of the oven for another 30 minutes until it has completely cooled down.

Mititei

Traditional Moldovan dish in the form of small minced meat sausages, without shell. They are fried on a grill or on a thick iron grate – grill.

The dish contains the following ingredients:

  • beef – 400 g;
  • lard -100 g;
  • highly carbonated mineral water – 50 ml;
  • starch – 1 tsp;
  • soda – 1/3 tsp;
  • thyme – 1/2 tsp;
  • ground black pepper – 1/2 tsp;
  • salt – 1/2 tsp;
  • onions – 1/2 pc.;
  • bay leaf – 1 pc .;
  • vegetable oil – 2-3 tablespoons

Beef and bacon are scrolled twice in a meat grinder, then garlic, which was crushed in advance, is added, spices, soda, starch and dried thyme. Mix thoroughly, add mineral water, beat off the resulting mixture for 10 minutes. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 5 hours.

Cut half of the onion into half rings. Take out the workpiece, divide the minced meat into several parts (the ingredients are indicated for 6 servings), form sausages about 2-3 cm wide, 10-12 cm long, fry in a hot pan.

Put mititei, onion in half rings, bay leaf in a saucepan with a thick bottom and fill it with water up to half. Stew over medium heat for 10-15 minutes.

Homemade recipes

Historically, Russian and Moldovan cuisines overlap in many ways, therefore, on the shelves of our stores there are always ingredients for creating national dishes of Moldova. This allows you to diversify the festive table or taste the traditional food of another country without going abroad.

Buryakitse

It is a tomato soup with dumplings.

A set of products:

  • tomato juice – 1 l;
  • water – 800 ml;
  • onions – 4 pcs.;
  • parsley root – 2 pcs.;
  • carrots – 2 pcs.;
  • salt to taste;
  • black pepper to taste.

Tomato juice is mixed with water, parsley root, whole onion, carrots cut into small strips are poured and boiled until vegetables soften. Salt and pepper are added. Put dumplings in the finished soup, cook until tender.

Tomato soup with dumplings is a dish that Moldovans love very much.

Dumplings for the soup are molded separately and in advance.

For the test take:

  • flour – 1 kg;
  • salt – 1 tsp;
  • eggs – 1 pc.;
  • water – 0.5 l.

Sift the flour, salt, shake the egg in water and slowly pour into the mixture. The dough should not turn out thick, mix it first with a wooden spoon, then with your hands. The resulting mass is covered with cling film and placed in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

For minced meat you need:

  • pork – 400 g;
  • onions – 2 pcs.;
  • salt to taste;
  • ground black pepper – to taste;
  • greens 2 – tbsp.

Pass the meat with onions through a meat grinder, add chopped herbs, spices, a little water, mix thoroughly.

They take the dough out of the refrigerator, cut off a small piece, wrap the rest with foil so that it does not dry out. The separated dough is cut into 2 cm strips, dipped in flour poured onto the table and rolled out with a rolling pin.

A small amount of filling is placed on the rolled piece, opposite sides are connected and the edges are held together.

Cooking hominy

Mamalyga is a unique dish. Thanks to corn, saturated with fatty acids, vitamins B, E, K, magnesium and zinc, it is suitable for people with stomach ulcers and gastritis. Also, hominy helps to strengthen the immune system.

It is easy to cook and requires a minimum of products:

  • corn flour – 400 g;
  • water – 1.25 l;
  • salt to taste.

Flour on a baking sheet is dried in the oven, then water is poured into the cauldron and put on fire. After boiling, add salt and flour. Stir until the lumps disappear completely for 30 minutes, without interruption. Then the heat is reduced and the porridge is left for 15 minutes to thicken.

They take a wooden spoon dipped in water and hold it along the edges of the container – the porridge should move well from the walls. After that, the mamalyga is transferred to a plate as a whole and cut into pieces with a thread.

Moldavian sauces

In Moldova, they prefer to serve sweet and sour sauces, such as muzhdy. It is eaten with meat, fish or hominy, dipping pieces of food in the seasoning.

To create it you will need:

  • garlic – 6-7 cloves;
  • vegetable oil – 4 tablespoons;
  • water – 3 tablespoons;
  • vinegar – 1 tablespoon;
  • salt to taste;
  • ground black pepper – to taste.

The garlic is chopped and ground with salt and pepper, then water, vinegar and oil are added to the resulting gruel.

Moldovan dishes harmoniously combine fruits, vegetables and meat, which makes the cuisine balanced and suitable for both the fasting Orthodox believer and the adherent of diets.


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