Traditional Christmas dishes – what do Clujeans serve at the holiday table?
Scoală gazdă din pătuţ, florile dalbe / Şi ne dă un colăcuţ, florile dalbe… It is an exhortation that resounded in the hearts of all Romanians who spent their winter holidays in the traditional style at least once in life. With Christmas carols in heart, they begin preparations for winter. Therefore you should know: the traditional dishes for Christmas and New Year can not be overlooked when it comes to Romanian traditions.
If you are in Cluj or it’s your first visit to the city in the heart of Transylvania, we recommend that this year to spend the winter holidays in the traditional style. On the principle that love is through stomach, we know that any “argument” can be won similarly. If you interact with Transylvanians in Cluj or its surroundings, you will have a perfect dining experience. Perhaps a host will invite you into their home this year. What are the traditional dishes that Clujeans will serve and how will the holiday dinner look? We have ransacked memories, checked the profiles of restaurant menus, and we called our grandparents with joy.
The Romanian Christmas celebration begins and ends with pork. On the day of St. Ignatios, everyone knows to slaughter a pig. Thus, they will wait for Christmas dinner: sausage, black pudding, and piftie, also known as răcituri. Also, always present are the traditional cabbage rolls, known as sărmăluțele. They are made from cabbage or vine leaves, thyme and dill. Keeping with cabbage, if you are in Cluj, is a must to taste the famous varza a la Cluj, a mix of cabbage and minced meat, made in the oven. I almost forgot pork cracklings! They are all hard to digest fatty foods, but exceedingly tasty if cooked properly.
Another typical holiday dish is, of course, salata de boeuf, often served along with meatballs or chicken schnitzels. salata de vinete (eggplant salad) and salata de ciuperci (mushroom salad) are also always on the table for the holidays.
If you think you have already eaten their fill, hold tight: here comes colacii (if you have behaved nicely), cozonacs with walnuts, poppy, cocoa, or Turkish delights. Apple (or nut) cakes are another traditional delight, salamul de biscuiti is an extra treat.
In the end, if you do miss is being in the middle of the fair, wander the Christmas Fair in downtown Cluj. The Inviting aromas of burnt sugar, mulled wine with cinnamon, gingerbread and kurtoskalacs will bring you a smile.
Poftă bună! 🙂