Romanians are big fans of food, so of course they have special dishes for every big holiday, Easter included.
From the traditional Easter painted eggs to sweets such as pasca and cozonac, Romanians like to have everything on their table for this special day.
Here is a list of traditional Easter foods in Romania and some places from where you can get them.
Traditional Easter foods:
- Painted eggs
The painted eggs are one of the main foods Romanians eat during Easter. They are hard-boiled eggs, colored mainly in red, but in other colors as well. The egg tapping is one of the main Easter traditions in Romania. The rule is simple: one holds a hard-boiled egg and taps the egg of another participant with the intention to break it. The one who breaks the most eggs without breaking his own, wins the game.
Egg painting is also a tradition in some parts of Romania, where local artisans create complicated embroidery on the painted eggs, using wax and various colors and motifs.
- Lamb dishes
It is customary in Romania to eat lamb meat for Easter. There are several lamb dishes, but most commonly made are lamb haggis (drob in Romanian). Romanians also cook lamb soup, lamb roast, or anything else that can be made of lamb meat, as most people would make sure they include on the menu something made of lamb. So lamb meat suddenly becomes very popular and sought after in Romanian markets and shops around Easter, and is almost impossible to find during the rest of the year.
Pasca is a delicious cheesecake, traditionally cooked for Easter. The recipes and shapes vary from region to region, but it mainly contains sweet cheese and raisins. Its name comes from Paste (Easter).
This is another desert baked for the Easter period, even if it is not traditionally made only on Easter - Romanians bake cozonac for Christmas and for special occasions too. It is a sweet bread with cocoa, nuts or/and Turkish delight. Like the pasca, the cozonac too can have various shapes and ingredients, depending on the region, but it’s mainly rectangular or round.
Where to get Easter foods:
You can either try to make these foods, buy them ready-made in stores, or have them for the Easter lunch/dinner if you're invited into a Romanian family during the holiday.
You can color the eggs yourself, at home, using the special coloring products you can find in every neighborhood store, supermarket or hypermarket in Romania these days. The coloring powder is usually placed in small bags, which are easy to recognize: there are pictures of painted eggs on them. You can also find colored eggs in supermarkets and hypermarkets. They are usually placed in the same departments with the regular eggs.
In the countryside, many still use natural coloring methods, such as red onion peel or beetroot. The color is not as vibrant but it gets the job done, naturally.
Lamb meat can be found everywhere during this period: from neighborhood markets to butcheries, supermarkets, and hypermarkets. Price can vary between RON 20 and RON 40 per kilogram. Most restaurants in Bucharest sell lamb dishes, especially these days.
For example, a lamb soup costs some RON 70 on oalacubunatati.ro while a drob is around RON 120. You can also choose from one of the three types of Easter meals they offer, which include the main course plus the dessert (pasca and cozonac).
Homemade-food.ro also offers three types of Easter meals, with prices between RON 235 and RON 510. You can also buy cozonac and pasca separately, and even colored eggs.
You can order cozonac from almost all bakeries and confectionery shops in the city. You can try some of the cozonac with a bit of French touch made by PAUL bakeries, or order it online from cofetariaarmand.ro., tiptop.ro or anapan.ro
You can also buy this sweet bread from all supermarkets and hypermarkets. Even some of the smaller, neighborhood stores sell cozonac during this period.
Happy Easter to all those who celebrate the Orthodox Easter on April 12!
Irina Popescu, [email protected]