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  • Writer's pictureTransylvania Trips

What to Eat in Transylvania

Discover what real locals eat in Transylvania!

There's a rare richness when it comes to traditional food in Romania, as this country has influences from a lot of countries. Therefore, prepare your senses, because you will be absolutely spoiled with all these amazing foods (and drinks).

Breakfast in Transylvania

A real local will always have Bundaș or Pâine în ou for breakfast, It is our version of French toast and it can be served both savoury with ham or cheese or sweet with the house marmalade or jams.

Starter and Main course in Transylvania

1. Varză à la Cluj

We are based in Cluj Napoca and if there is no visit here without trying this local and traditional dish, as you may not find it anywhere else in Romania.

Varza means cabbage, so The cabbage à la Cluj is prepared with minced mear, rice, flavoured with a bit of paprika and served with sour cream. Of course, it may depend a bit on each cook’s recipe, but this is mainly it: a simple meaty food that tastes amazing. We even have a cabagge restaurant in town, this is how famous and tasty this food is.

2. Sarmale

The most traditional food is the Pickled cabbage rolls stuffed with meat and rice. And you will find it all over Romania. We highly recommend you to ask for a bit of polenta and sour cream as well when you order it. There are also a few veggie options for these Sarmale: usually stuffed with rice and mushrooms, but there are lots of other receipes.

3. Gulash

Ok, gulash is more Hungarian than Romanian. But Transylvania was part of Austria-Hungary, so you should definitely test the Gulash here. There are two type of Gulas in Transylvania: Gulash soup and Gulash Stew. So it is up to you how you want to serve it!

It is usually cooked in a cauldron, with meat, paprika (and other spices) and vegetables.

4. Mămăligă cu brânză și smântână aka Bulz

A super simple and tasty food that can be easily cooked for your friends after your Transylvania experience!

Mămăligă is actually hot polenta served with local cheese, sour cream and fried bacon. If you're a vegetarian, you can ask for this without the bacon, as it is a very common to be served like that.

5. We damn love rich soups (that we actually call Ciorba)! And we serve them in a bread bowl ❤

You should definitely check these soups:

  • Ciorbă de fasole cu ciolan

Our bean soup with smoked pork meat comes in a wheat bread bowl most of the time. So, not only the soup is amazing, but the experience of eating from a bowl of bread (that you will end up eating as well) is 100% Transylvanian.

  • Ciorbă de burtă aka Tripe soup.

This is usually the remedy for hangover, but we love it no matter the day or night. It is served with sour cream and chilli peppers. In case you do not like the tripe idea, no worries! Romanians thought of it and created what we call Ciorbă rădăuțeană. The same type of soup (more or less), but with chicken meat.

Deserts in Transylvania

1. Papanași

There are 2 types of papanași: the ones that you will find all over Romania cooked with fried dough, sweet local cheese and a bit of sour cream and fruit jam. And the very Transylvanian (but rare) ones that are made entirely from cheese and served with jam.

2. Alivenci

A very rare desert that we have and it was born in very poor areas or under the communism when there was not much to buy.

It started like a sweet polenta and now it's like a pimped sweet polenta with milk, sour cream, raisins and vanilla. As you can imagine, it is quite a delish!

3. Vargabeles

It is more like a hungarian desert, made out of noodles with sweet cheese, raisins, vanilla and a lot of sweet love <3

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