The One Food You Must Try in...Romania!
Despite the dreary weather in April, I really enjoyed visiting Romania. In fact, in a strange way, the gray skies and blustery winds sort of suited the country. Bri and I visited Bucharest, Braşov, Sibui, Sighisoara, and one very epic castle. The cost of food and drink isn't all that much in Romania, so we ate to our heart's content. Though, It was in Sibui that I really found my central european food soulmate.
Before I reveal what my one food would be, I should preface this by noting that I do indeed live in Istanbul, also known as the porkless city. Large swaths of time in Romania were spent searching for quality restaurants that specialized in their pork preparations.
In a dimly lit, smoke laden tavern in a basement restaurant in Sibui, I confronted my food destiny, and instantly knew it was the delicacy I had been waiting to try.
And so, faith permitting, the one food you must try in Romania is..."Sibiu salami!"
The story of Sibiu salami, or Sibiu sausages as they're often called, started with the emigration of an Italian man named Filippo Dozzi in the late 19th century. He was a bricklayer, but also a sausage aficionado, and that led him to quickly recognize that the conditions in the region were perfect for drying salami. He began producing it out of the town of Sinaia, and then exporting it around the world, due to its enormous popularity. When it was sent abroad, it apparently had a stamp which said "Customs of Sibiu," and thus, it became known as "salam de Sibiu," or "Sibiu salami." Before his death, he passed down the recipe to his son, who continued the company, until it was nationalized by the state in the 1940's.
Sibiu salami is a source of regional and national pride, largely because it should be. It is, and I'm not exaggerating, the best salami that I've ever tried. It's perfectly spiced, but not too salty, and it's dried to perfection.
What started as a passion of one man has known grown into so much more. You can find it is Sibiu (naturally), but it's pretty well available all across the country. Don't miss the opportunity when you head there. You can know in your heart of hearts that even if the weather is dismal, under many of those wintry roofs there's a mighty fine treat to be had.
Have you tried Sibiu Salami? What'd you think? Have you visited Romania? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! I'd love to know if there is any other Romanian food you particularly liked as well!