Traditional Romanian Dishes Bucket List

Romanian cuisine is hearty, flavorful, and heavily influenced by the peoples that the area has come into contact with. Major influences have come by way of the Ottoman Empire as well as the Greeks. For example, the Turks brought meatballs and meat filled cabbage rolls (“sarmale”) with them; whereas the Greeks came with the moussaka (“musaca”)….

True Love and Apple Pie

Word Count: 4625 Oh my lord, am I even still alive? Well, it appears I’m still breathing, which is a good thing :) A couple of weeks ago, a man named Bill Backer finally died, leading to a lot of sympathetic news coverage. I’ve made my sentiments on advertising men well-known over the years but…

The Good, the Delicious, and the Ugly

Word Count: 620 The other day, I took the following photograph of a carrot I bought at Chisinau’s wild and crazy central market: If I told you that I paid 3.5 MLD/kg for it, or less than $0.03/lb (0.16 euro/kg), you’d probably just shrug your shoulders and say, “Eh, that’s Moldova for you”. But I’m…

Hey Jamie Oliver, go fuck yourself

I’ve never met Jamie Oliver. Prior to today, reading the transcript of his 2010 TED Talk on Medium, all I knew about him was that he was a celebrity chef. I’ve seen a couple of his television programs before. He seemed to me like an affable guy who enjoys cooking. Well guess what? I’m an…

Puddle Chickens

The tourist season is heating up (as usual, things kick off with a bang starting on May 1) and you may soon find yourself in an upscale restaurant in this country, salivating as you pore over the choices on the menu. If you see an entry called pui de balta, don’t be alarmed if you…

Taietura Porcului

As someone who writes about Romania in (almost entirely) English, there’s always a risk that I will be badly misunderstood. Over the last 24 hours, I’ve actually had people read my post (on The Economist) and think I was the one saying Romania was racist. If you can’t understand I was saying the complete opposite,…

Walking 1.609 Kilometers In My Shoes

Since I realize not everyone reading this blog has been to Romania, or perhaps not America, or even neither, I thought I’d be kind of fun to pull back from the great, wider perspective a little and focus on the more tangible. It’s easy to talk about “Romania” as a giant , singular entity but…