Traditional Easter Food in Romania

Easter eggs

Yesterday you read about the mystic powers of the Easter painted eggs. You know now that the tradition is ancestral, dated before Christ. You know the legend of the red Easter eggs and you know that this beautiful tradition prevails in the north of the country, where many other Romanian traditions survived time and political changes.

Dyed eggs are traditional food at Easter, but of course in this category we cannot include the beautiful hand painted eggs, which are emptied of their contents. Such eggs are purely decorative. Everywhere in Romania, in the Great Thursday, eggs are dyed in red, yellow, green, blue or black, each of these colors having its special meaning, for example red stands obviously for the blood of Christ, green is a symbol of passing from Winter to Spring and black stands for Jesus suffering on the cross.

Red, yellow, blue and green Easter eggs.

Crackig eggs.Related to eggs we should not forget the traditional custom of knocking the eggs. This starts the first day of Easter and it continues till the Great Sunday. When cracking eggs the two parts involved should say “Christ is risen!”, and the answer to this is “He is truly risen!” – this is also the greeting that replaces the common “hello” till the Great Sunday. There are many superstitions related to this custom, one saying that the one whose egg cracks first will die younger than his oponent.

And speaking about traditional food, probably the most important “dishes” are Pasca (a version of cheesecake)

Easter Pasca - traditional Romanian dish.

and Cozonaci (Romanian Panettone – variations of sweet bread in different shapes round or rectangular, symbolizing Christ’s grave – but the difference is that they are not an exclusive Easter dish, being also prepared for Christmas, weddings and other important celebrations).

Romanian Cozonaci - Easter treat.

I am not a big sweets fan, so back in Romania I wasn’t eating any of the two with much enthusiasm. Now I have no words to describe how I miss the taste of fresh Pasca with wine.

Last but not least, the traditional main dishes at Easter in Romanian are prepared from fresh lamb: lamb roast and drob (lamb haggis – spiced minced lamb organs with green onion, green garlic and eggs in lamb stomach).

Drob recipe, courtesy ExploringRomania.com:

Ingredients:

  • liver from a lamb
  • heart from a lamb
  • lungs from a lamb
  • a lamb peritoneum
  • 5 green onions
  • 3 green garlic
  • 2 tbs chopped green parsley
  • 1 tbs chopped green dill
  • 1 raw egg
  • 4-5 boiled eggs
  • 2 tbs sour cream
  • 1 tbs oil
  • salt and pepper

Boil the liver, heart and lungs in a pot. Wash the peritoneum and let it to cool. Take the boiled organs out on a plate and put them in the fridge (for at last 6 hours). Put the organs together with onion, garlic, parsley, dill and 2 boiled eggs through the hewing machine. Put the mixture in a bowl; add the raw egg, salt, pepper and the sour cream.

lamb drob - Easter food in Romania.Grease a pot with oil or butter; lay the peritoneum at the bottom of the pot. The fat side of peritoneum must be inside. Put 1/2 of the mixture over the peritoneum. Align the rest of eggs in the middle ( in one piece or cut in 2 pieces). Then raise the margins of peritoneum the way an envelop is closed. Grace the whole thing and bake it in the oven for about an hour.

Can be served warm (cut in slices) as main dish near any kind of garnish but it’s more healthy to serve it cold like appetizer.

Comments

  1. That food looks so good. Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Looks and tastes, Maggie. I can cook some Romanian dishes, but the traditional ones are a bit tricky where I live. There’s always a question of how to get the ingredients… They raise here (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany) cows rather than sheep so around Easter I have to go find a Turkish shop and order lamb for at least lamb roast. i cannot even dream about making Cozonaci in the absence of a stone oven… But I do dye eggs and prepare “sarmalute” – another traditional dish fit for every holiday. I’ll talk about it in a future entry.

  3. I had not heard of any other country than Scotland that ate haggis. It is not something I enjoy. Having lived in two countries where lamb is as plentiful as beef I was surprised to read that you could not get it easily in Germany.

  4. Oh, I don’t think this is everywhere in Germany. Just here, in this region, where they breed cows more than anything. Romanian haggis is actually different, but still a very heavy meal.

  5. The pastry alone, sold me. Having spent Easter in Krakow 3 years ago, I realized Easter is a very different holiday in other lands. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful holiday with us………

  6. So glad you enjoyed this, Pearl. Come back Thursday, I am giving away the pastry recipe :)

  7. Wow – those eggs are beautiful! Such vibrant colors!

  8. Those are normal Easter Eggs, SeaBird. There are other eggs, even more beautiful you can enjoy if you browse the other entries. :)

  9. Is there some type of non-yeast chese bread?
    I heard about it one easter but did not know where it came from… any ideas?

    Thanks for the recipies by the way,
    Heidi longzvorick

  10. I don’t know any type of non-yeast cheese bread, Heidi. Sorry.

    Mig

  11. Buna Mihaela

    Baietelul meu este la o scoala internationala in Elvetia si am fost rugati sa contribuim cu cateva retete de mancaruri traditionale romanesti pentru a realiza o carte de bucate care sa fie oferita tuturor parintilor elevilor care frecventeaza aceasta scoala. Am descoperit retetele tale si mi se par excelente. Crezi ca le pot imprumuta?

    Multumesc pentru raspuns.

    Carmen

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