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001: ROMANIA – A Conversation With Ani and Romanian Cuisine

This week on the podcast, I interview a friend and learn about her experiences escaping from Romania during a dangerous revolution. We also reminisce about childhood memories centered around food.

In This Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Ani and her family narrowly escaped Romania during a dangerous revolution.
  • A brief history of modern Romania.
  • Romanian food through the lens of a refugee.



We think of the smells and tastes of our childhood and say, “Grandma made it best.” This nostalgic experience is part of our personal history, while the process of cooking maps the cultural history of a nation. Romanian cooking is therefore, at its core, the most eclectic, varied and complex cooking found it Eastern Europe because of its national history. Romanian cooking encompasses the taste of the Mediterranean because of the Ottoman occupation and the Slavic and Austro-Hungarian influences due to its geographical proximity to Russia and Hungary. With such culinary influences from South, East and West, the richness of the food does not come from the hearty ingredients, but from the history of occupation, integration and symbiosis with its surrounding regions. Romanian cuisine is not simply the amalgamation or duplication of these nation’s dishes, but has a flavor all its own. The richness and variety of tastes found in uniquely Romanian food satisfy not only the appetite but the soul as well. Romanian dishes are considered comfort foods because of their complex and savory character. The rich ingredients, local to the Romanian heartland, come together to create the seductive flavors that warm the body and nourish the heart. We hope that this cookbook will be a treasure for you and your family as you explore all that the nation has to offer and share the recipes with your loved ones.