Culinary Anthropologist

romania

  1. Quince jelly

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    Of course, you could use whole quinces for this, but it works just fine with skins and cores left over from other quince recipes, a tip I picked up from our jam-making friend Eduard Dumitrescu in Romania.  (After all, that’s where all the pectin is.)  In fact, our jam and jelly discussions with Eduard and […]

  2. To Romania in a spoon

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    While staying in the Carpathians with our friends Anca and Eduard, we had a lot of conversations about jam.  I don’t possibly have space here to tell you about everything we learnt (although I’m sure Anna will try soon) – but here’s two things.  First, Romanians have a lot of words for jam.  Second, two […]

  3. Ottoman or not?

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    Now that we’ve spent some time in Turkey, some in Romania and Bulgaria before that, and now some in Greece, it’s been interesting to try to spot various culinary connections between them.  It’s not all pleasant, but they have a lot of shared history via the long presence of the Ottoman empire in Eastern Europe.  […]

  4. Through the kitchens of Romania

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    Coming to Romania from Hungary was a huge change, primarily because we know lots of people in Romania and speak a bit of the language.   Both of these bonuses, plus the Romanian people’s unrivalled hospitality, meant we could spend far more time inside people’s kitchens learning about the cuisine – either by being invited in […]

  5. Delta fishy deal?

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    Why would anyone want to drive for hours through flat soulless countryside, spend a night in one of Romania’s more ugly towns, then six hours on a small, open boat in the freezing cold wind, in order to have one dinner of fish, followed by sour fish soup, followed by fish, in a tiny village […]

  6. Getting bladdered in Bran

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    Today Barnaby went to visit the famous Bran castle in the Carpathian Mountains.  The castle was closed, so instead he found a nice local cheese farmer to talk to. Nicu Solovastru has 300 sheep and 10 cows, which spend their summers grazing in the meadows high above the castle.  He is proud of the fact […]

  7. Ready salted

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    Barnaby was intrigued to find a natural well of salty water in Botiza, a village in the Maramureş region of Romania (where we stayed after we got stuck in the mud).  We watched as one after the other, villagers came to collect a bucket or two of salty water using the long sticks. One man […]

  8. Granny knows

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    “Bunică ştie” is something you might find yourself observing on numerous occasions while spending time in the villages of Transylvania.  For every grandmother you would have the good fortune to meet would know an awful lot, about everything.  And everybody knows that granny knows (best). She knows about looking after animals, and bringing up the […]

  9. Stuck in the mud near Glod

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    With hindsight, we can see that we made several less-than-perfect decisions on the day we left Săpântă to go exploring rural Maramureş in northern Romania.   Firstly, it was not a great idea to take the cross-country back roads through the hills on the first sunny day after heavy snow, however enticing the little village […]

  10. Testing the waters

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    Today Barnaby happened upon this whirlpool bath while exploring the village of Săpânta in the beautiful Maramureş region of Romania.  At first he thought it must be some kind of jacuzzi for small people like him, and he would’ve jumped in were it not so very cold. Later he discovered it is in fact a […]

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