This Christmas I was presented with an invitation to a traditional Romanian-style party, to enjoy food and drink! It was an great experience, one which I hope to experience again and I highly recommend to everyone who wishes to try something new .
The event was organised by a Romanian event company with the intention to share Romanian traditions with everyone, including food, drinks and music seen at Christmas. The
venue was very beautifully decorated and anyone could tell that a lot of effort had been put into this event.
The moment we walked though the door somebody was waiting for us, giving us details about what was going to happen and showing us the facilities! A great bonus was a free printed picture from the event. In a room with lots of accessorises was a photo booth which was extremely easy to use and a great way to remember the night. If you want, you can also have the picture emailed to you so you can share it all over your social media while also doing the environment a favour. After this we are given the option to taste a Romanian favourite - Palica, or otherwise known as Tuica. If you like strong spirits this is the drink for you! Quite strong, but just as good. This traditional drink is like rest of European national drinks as Uzo in Grece, Grapa in Italy or Slipovita/Rakia in what used to be Yugoslavia. But this one is like no other, it's made from a fermentation process of plums and distilling multiple times to obtain a very pure and tasteful drink.
Highly recommended but drink responsibly, a few glasses can be like a full bottle of any other drink like Vodka or Whiskey!
The atmosphere was great, very good music , lots of young people some of which were wearing traditional costumes! On the table was a big, round, fresh home made bread with seeds, the smell of which was great! I asked if it represented anything and I was told that it was in the form of a sunflower, which is a traditional sign of the sun which represented wealth, health and good fortune.
The first plate was great, very well balanced with lot of meat products and a few salads plus vegetables. The plate was full of traditional foods, one of which was Slanina. It's pork fat with pork skin (Sorici) and while it doesn't look or sound very appealing, the taste is extremely good. Again I was told that Slanina has an entire process of production - after the preparation of the pork fat it is smoked and marinated with different spices for better taste. Apparently it is the best natural source of fat. Initially I was thought it was a joke but I was surprised to find it wasn't. I searched on the internet and it is true! It is a great source of natural good cholesterol and very necessary for good body function.
Romanian music has become relatively famous worldwide in the last few years and you might even know a few famous Romanian artists like Inna or Ozone, but I was surprised by the huge variety of great music. Traditional Romanian music is amazing, as far as I understand every region in Romania has specific songs and dances. Not one is the same, unique by tone and rhythm. I was trying to dance with my new friends and it was quite simple and easy to learn. Most of the dances are group dances not in pairs and I found this added to feeling of community.
After another a few more glasses of Palinca and some good wine came the main dish, a hot plate with more traditional food. One of the key dishes was Sarmale! They are minced pork meat stuffed in sour cabbage leaves baked on slow cook in the oven and they are delicious. The Sarmale were served with Mamaliga (like polenta) and they complimented each other perfectly. Speaking with my new friends I came to understand this dish is the pride of any Romanian cook and if you can't cook it to perfection you are not considered a good chef. I have had similar dishes in Greece and Turkey but nothing beats the Romanian Sarmale.
The kids were very happy as there was a big room especially for them, separate from where the adults were and they could play without a care in the world. Initially I though that the kids would disrupt the party and distract the adults but it was not like that. In main hall there were only adults, no kids around on the dance floor. In the kids room they played and ate separately and the adults could enjoy the party.
As desert came another famous Romanian food - Cozonac. This is like a special sweet bread with nuts and cocoa powder, enough to make anyone's mouth water. As far as I understand, it is made only at Christmas and Easter time. Again, it is the pride of any Romanian chef and everyone has their own secret ingredient or tip.
I was very surprised when I spoke with the event organisers and I found out that the food was ordered from Romania and some products such as slanina, carnati, sour cabbage, cozonaci, cheese and many more were provided from famous organic farms from Romania - in order to make the whole experience more authentic. Great party, great food and great music! Everyone who came were looking very happy and they all appreciated the effort put into organising the event.
I am already waiting for the next party/event organised by RoMagic Events, which will be a mix of Love and Chocolate sometime in February, around Valentine's Day.
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