Moldovan cuisine is famous for being full of flavor, colors and for being very tasty and healthy. Especially when you eat it in a village, prepared by someone that grows the products in their own garden. You have to note that Moldovan people are very hospitable and friendly. If you are lucky enough to have the experience of being a guest in an ordinary household, be prepared to be amazed by both the warmth of the hosts but also by the taste of the food.
According to the locals, these are the best Moldovan Dishes:
‘Mămăligă cu brânză și smântână’ – Polenta with Cottage Cheese and Sour Cream
Without a doubt, ‘mămăliga’, or polenta, is Moldova’s best known and most traditional dish. Polenta is made from corn flour, to which a little butter is added.
It is generally served with sheep’s cheese or cottage cheese and sour cream. For gourmet lovers, you can also order traditional pork stew that goes well with this dish.
‘Plăcinte’ – Moldovan Pie
Moldovan pies are a close second when it comes to most traditional Moldovan foods. And unlike mămăliga, pies have retained their popularity among young people.
People still bake Moldovan pies at home, but you can also find numerous pie shops and restaurants, as well as many shops that deliver pies to your door.
There are several types of pies you shouldn’t miss. For a savory taste, try the cheese pies, cabbage pies, and potato pies.
And for those with a sweet tooth, try the cherry pies, apple pies, and pumpkin pies.
‘Sarmale’ – Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
‘Sarmale‘ or stuffed cabbage rolls are one of those dishes that feature heavily in the cuisine of many Eastern European countries.
In Bulgarian cuisine, they’re called ‘sarmi.’ In Ukrainian cuisine — ‘holubtsi.’ In Polish cuisine — ‘golabki.’ They feature in Macedonian cuisine, Serbian cuisine, Croatian cuisine, Lithuanian cuisine, Russian cuisine, Romanian cuisine, and others.
In Moldova, no holiday or party is complete without these Moldovan stuffed cabbage rolls.
These are cabbage rolls stuffed with rice and minced pork or chicken along with chopped onion and carrots that are slowly simmered. Unlike in some other cuisines, in Moldovan cuisine, they are served with big dollops of sour cream!
Sometimes, they are made with grapevine leaves rather than cabbage leaves. Both versions are delicious, and you should try them both!
‘Ardei Umpluți’ or ‘Chiperi Umpluți’ – Stuffed Bell Peppers
Stuffed bell peppers have the same ingredients as stuffed cabbage rolls (rice, vegetables, and meat), but the taste is completely different.
This is due to the fact that the peppers are sweet. During cooking, they give the rice a specific aroma.
They are also served with sour cream (sidenote: have you picked up on the fact that sour cream is a staple of Moldovan cuisine?). Most foreigners love this dish, so it’s highly recommended you try it.
‘Zeama’ – Moldovan Chicken Noodle Soup
Zeama is a traditional Moldovan soup. It is similar to a chicken noodle soup, but it’s taste is usually a little sour.
The ingredients that go into this soup generally consist of chicken, chopped vegetables (such as onions, carrots, bell peppers, and potatoes), and homemade noodles.
The sour notes are achieved by adding ‘borș acru de casa’ (a liquid ingredient most people buy rather than make at home that consists of fermented wheat or barley bran) or lemon juice.
Zeama is usually served with sour cream, bread, and spicy chili peppers, depending on your taste preferences.
Source: Moldovan Food – 14 Best Traditional Dishes as Recommended by a Local – Nomad Paradise
You can read more about Moldovan Cuisine here.