Moldova loves comfort food and does it really well. A cross between cornbread and polenta, mamaliga sticks to your fork, and that’s a good thing because you won’t want to lose a single crumb of this deliciousness. Formerly a dish for peasants, it’s become popular as an appetizer in restaurants and at home. Some make it thick, so it can be sliced like bread, while others create something with the consistency of oatmeal. Fun fact: Since it will stick to knives, it’s typically cut with sewing thread. Enjoy it with cheese, meat, fish, sour cream or crushed in a bowl of milk.
After scraping mamaliga from your fork, grab a spoon, and try the classic Moldovan soup, zeama. It’s like American chicken soup but uses the entire chicken. The broth is light and filled with flavor, thanks to an abundance of vegetables, onions, parsley and pepper. And did we mention the whole chicken? It’s served with a side of bread and salt and often topped with sour cream.
Placinta, fried bread, is both a cheap takeaway snack and staple at home during celebratory meals. It’s usually filled with cheese, cabbage or potatoes, but seasonal offerings can include pumpkin in the fall and cherries in the summer. They vary in shapes and sizes, but we recommend the heftier, deep-fried versions for maximum flavor.