Posted in Carmich Travel Journal

Experiencing Romanians for the first time!

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about Dracula and Transylvania. They are the most popular attractions for people first visiting Romania. Of course, there’s much more than that, so I’m going to explain some of the things Romanians do and how they are.

In every person’s life comes a point when they experience a country for the first time. That can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect when you first step in a Romanian home. The smell of delicious food is what hits you as you enter their house. You will receive a small shot glass of ţuică (read as “tsuika” – an alcoholic drink made of plums, with 40% alcohol – that’s the official number). This is our way of welcoming you to our homes. Normally, you will also receive exact instructions of how to taste it properly, because this is an exact science… you can’t mess with that! 🙂

After you’ve made yourself comfortable, food comes. As I’ve told you in a previous post, we have a lot of influences from all over the world, that’s what makes our food so tasty.

A very true statement would be that we love meat. Believe me, after you’ve tasted some of our smoked sausages and all the other meats made with spices and lots of imagination you will truly understand what I’m saying. As a result of all the cooking, we love to have guests. It is in our blood to be hospitable and we literally receive people in our homes with open hearts and minds. We love to learn everything about new cultures and how other people live and what their idea about our country is.

We would offer the best linen, the best cutlery and show everything we are proud of. We just like to show how much we appreciate to have you in our house, so we try to make you feel at home from the first second.

As I was saying earlier, when the food comes you will realize that serving it is an actual art. Everything on the table is set as if you are in a three star restaurant. It’s a feast for the eyes when the food comes on the table… it’s mouth watering.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We always have appetizers and then some soup and a main dish. The dessert comes later on, as people get to know each other better and become more intimate. Grandparents will start telling stories about their lives and how everything has changed since all the technology evolved.

supă cu găluşte sarmale

Tell me that doesn’t look appealing to you. The soup is very important for us, it’s consistency is clear and it usually has noodles or small semolina dumplings. The one that has all the vegetables and meats is called ciorbă (read as “chiorba”) and is usually sour, thicker and eaten with sour cream and bread.

The main dish can differ and that mainly shows the talent of the cook, who usually is the oldest lady of the house. She is the host, so she cooks everything just because it’s a legacy she leaves behind – trust me, you will always talk about how good the food is, and that makes them happy and proud. They will also always remember what you liked the most so whenever you go visit again they will cook that for you again, together with new stuff. They just want to make sure that you feel welcomed.

Romanians are proud of who they are, it’s a thing no one can take away, even if their miles apart from their homes. It’s sometimes hard to be proud, when you hear all the negative reviews coming from all over the world, but in our hearts we know we are better than everything people are saying. We are who we are, and as every country has it’s own “bad parts” we have that too, but we are not all the same!

Photo sources: Table arrangement, Soup and Sarmale

		
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