Surprising dishes you only find in Eastern Europe
Guest post by Dana Konotop
Eastern Europe is a region known for its unique cuisine. Tourists from different parts of the world instantly fall in love with those delicious dishes it offers. Even though sometimes they can look pretty weird, the Eastern Europe dishes are worth trying. Do not be afraid to try them out, and you will be surprised with their wonderful taste and unique flavor. It does not matter what your food preferences are. After you visit one of the Eastern Europe countries, you are going to discover hundreds of new things you like. So, get ready for the culinary revolution and enjoy the most surprising dishes of Eastern Europe.
One of the most popular dishes which originate in Moldova is Sarmale. This dish has a long history and lots of variations in the cuisines of Middle East and Balkans. So, what does traditional Sarmale look like? To cook Sarmale, you will need to take Bulgarian Pepper or cabbage leaves and stuff them with rice, mixed with different vegetables, including carrot, onion, and pepper. Those ingredients seem to be quite healthy. However, Sarmale has to be baked in oil for several hours. Probably, this is not the best choice for those on a diet, but it does taste delicious. Sarmale is usually served with sour cream.
Piftie is a business card of Romanian cuisine. This delicious pork jelly is nothing, but meat aspic which is made from pig’s ears, trotters, tail, and rind. Piftie is traditionally seasoned with lots of garlic. This dish is one of the most popular appetizers during the Christmas celebration not only in Romania but other countries of the region. It is probably less extreme than other Romanian dishes made from the brain, pig’s stomach, cow’s innards and such. However, it does taste unusual and is worth trying.
In traditional understanding, soup is a hot liquid dish made from meat, vegetables or fish. However, Bulgarians add a new delicious meaning to this word. Traditional Bulgarian dish called Tarator is a cold soup which is made from cucumbers, yogurt, water, and spices. Pretty unusual mix, is not it? It is a good idea to give it a try if you are visiting Bulgaria. What is interesting, there is a lot of discussion regarding this dish, since the Greeks accuse Bulgarians of “stealing” their traditional salad. They say Bulgarians just added some spices and water to change the original recipe. Bulgarians are always ready to defend their precious culinary traditions and are willing to prove that the dish was cooked initially in Bulgaria.
Varenyky are one of the most famous dishes in Ukrainian and Russian culinary tradition. Those who are new to the cuisine of these countries often confuse this dish with pierogi. Unlike pierogi, which are baked in the oven, Varenyky are boiled and served with sour cream. These are dumplings stuffed with pickled cabbage, mashed potato, cherries or cottage cheese. The dough for Varenyky is easy to make. All you need is water, salt, and flour. Because of this simple recipe, you can enjoy a heavenly taste of this dish without worrying about extra calories.
If you want to learn a piece of Armenian history, you should try famous porridge-like soup Harissa. It is not just a traditional dish. If you visit the country in the mid-September, you can take part in a ritual of harissa-making. What is so special about this dish? If you order Harissa in the local restaurant, you have a chance to hear the story of Musa Dagh Resistance which took place at the beginning of the 20th century.
Thanks to this wonderful dish full of nutrients Armenians managed to survive. The recipe is pretty simple though. Harissa is a soup made from roasted cracked wheat and lamb or chicken meat.
If you are a dessert lover, this amazing Georgian dish is a must-try. Tourists often mistake these colorful candle-like candies with sausages. You can see them hanging in storefront windows and at the food markets all over Georgia. Those are not sausages, no matter what they look like. Those are highly nutritious candies made from concentrated grape juice and walnuts. Get ready to put some effort into chewing this delicious candy. Rich in protein and sugar, this heavenly dessert will make you instantly fall in love with Georgian cuisine.
There are lots of stories and jokes about potato in Belarus. The country’s cuisine is based on the dishes made from this vegetable. One of the most famous national Belarusian dishes is Babka. It is made from potato with fried bacon, meat, and onion added to the dish. It is usually baked and served hot together with sour cream. It is also advisable to add some fresh minced herbs for a better taste. The secret of the unique texture of the dish is in the usage of grated potatoes, which have a creamy texture on the inside and crunchy on the outside.
About the Author: This article was written by Dana Konotop, savvy travel blogger at asabbatical.com, a travel blog of Adrian Sameli. To connect with Dana, follow her on Facebook.