Moldavian cuisine

Moldavian cuisine is said to be the most refined of all. And when you think of it, you always remember the delicious chicken sou

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Moldavian cuisine is said to be the most refined of all. And when you think of it, you always remember the delicious chicken soup or scrambled eggs with pork scraps and cheese, or with the famous poale-n brau (small pies made from dough, eggs and cheese and fried in oil in a pan). The cakes made in this part of the country are so many and diverse one loses count. Weddings, baptisms, winter and spring holidays and even funerals are as many occasions for each Moldavian woman to show off her culinary art.

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The slaughtering of the pig in winter is followed by another ritual, directed by the housewife who cooks scores of dishes: from racituri (meat jelly made with pig's trotters) to sausages and chisca.

Vegetables, too, are turned into appetizing dishes in the Moldavian cuisine. Bean soup, stewed sauerkraut, or iahnie are the Moldavians' favourite dishes. Standing out among their soups and broths in the ciorba de potroace. It is made with chicken entrails boiled with carrot, onion, parsley, and a spoonful or two of rice and seasoned with bors (a homemade fermentation liquid obtained from bran and water). This specific soup is said to be a remedy for hangover.

Moldavian tochitura differs from the same dish made elsewhere in Romania. It is made from pig's liver and kidneys chopped finely, mixed with pieces of lard and fried. When this mixture is fried, a glass of wine, pepper and garlic are added and the whole is simmered for a few minutes. This dish is never served without mamaliga.

Mamaliga also accompanies Moldavian sarmale (meatballs rolled in sauerkraut or vine leaves are made from minced pork mixed with rice, salt, pepper, chopped dill and parsley as well as chopped onion; small portions of this mixture are then rolled in sauerkraut or vine leaves and boiled).

Some of the most appreciated wines produced in Romania are from Cotnari vineyard. The name itself originates in the craft of measuring barrels. In the 15th-16th Cotnari was the second Moldavian town and the wine was destined only for the voievode's and boyars' tables. The microclimate here favors the belated wine-harvests, up until the end of November. This is the secret of the most beautiful sweet wines of Romania from the Grasa (yellow with greenish reflexes), Tamâioasa (Romanian aromatic wine "marshal"), Francusa, and Feteasca Alba vines.

Odobesti is another Moldavian vineyard. It produces a wine descended from a local vine, Galbena de Odobesti, a light white wine, little aromatic but appreciated for its freshness and its balance. It was the favorite wine of the prince of Moldavia Dimitrie Cantemir at the end of the 18th century. Other wine produced here are: white wines - Feteasca Alba, Italian Resling, Sauvignon and Muscat Ottonel; red wines - Cabernet Sauvignon, Feteasca Neagra, Merlot.