In many cultures, showing hospitality is the same as serving one’s guest the best and the most food possible. Moldovians are no exceptions. I was never hungry there and each meal was a total feast.
At a popular traditional restaurant, La Taifa’s, I tried the comfort everyday foods like zeata (chicken soup) and samarle (rice and meat wrapped in cabbage synonymous of golubtse in Russia/Ukraine or grape leaves – synonymous of dolma in Turkey). Another famous comfort food is placinte (pastry with sweet or savoury filings). I am a total refined carb addict! I love how they made it at Castel Mimi (they served us a full meal with our wine tasting).
The Moldavians love their meat and barbecues. I decided to dive in and tried their BBQs from street vendors during the Chisinau Day fair in the Cathedral Square. Although I think the Uruguayan (my Argentinian friends will woe me for saying this!) asados are still the best that I had so far, I enjoyed very much the grilled pigeons. Were I not running out of Lei (Moldavian money), I would buy another one. I happened to decide to eat less red meat recently (I lamb-ed out after Azerbaijan), so I had a sausage (tasted like normal sausage) and chicken shashlik (grilled chicken on skewers).
Having blessed with fertile lands, Moldova also produces a variety of fruits and vegetables. I had a delicious dessert of plums and walnuts (sweet and satisfying).
I tried their fresh plums (EUR0.15 for 3 plums!!). They were to die-for. I wanted to bring a box home! I also tried dessert placinte. One was filled with sour cherry, and one was filled with sweetened pumpkin. The latter was to-die for. I had these at a popular restaurant called “Popasul Dacilor”.
In the same restaurant, I finally tried the famous “mamaliga”, which is made from corn. It is cooked similarly to polenta. It is sticky and has to be cut with a thread. It was delicious, but is very heavy. You eat it with meat and other dishes.
And apart from BBQs, Moldovians’ love for meet can be seen from the delicious meat dishes they serve at the restaurants. At Popasul Dacilor, I really enjoyed the rabbit dish and their pork jelly starter.
I spent three days in Moldova, but I ate like I was there for six. I still cannot get enough of the food and the locals’ supreme hospitality.