Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A recipe for flatulence: Christmas in Moldova

Now before you all judge me for the title of this post, just read about the cuisine and condition I am living with here in the magical land of cruciferous vegetables.  Since returning from my travels in India in 2008 I have had issues with my stomach and digestion.  The medical community diagnosed me with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).  So with this condition I am more apt to have discomfort when eating certain foods.  You'd think I'd be fine here with all the potatoes, bananas, oatmeal and basic BRAT diet needs but the influx of cabbage in my diet has certainly had an affect.

Christmas in Moldova is an interesting celebration.  It is celebrated in the old Orthodox tradition with Christmas day being January 7th and New Year's Day being January 14.  On Christmas eve my host mother and I were greeted by several children reciting poems in sing-song voices and opening their bags for candy.  I caught myself trying to ask the question, "Trick or Treat?" as the tradition of going door to door for candies is more of a Halloween thing for us Americans.  After this, the eating began.  And oh did we eat.  We had bread, boiled rooster meat in a rooster-stock-jelly, cold potato salads, layered salads with fish, potatoes, carrots and red beets topped with may-o, small meat burgers (much like meatloaf).  And then came all the hot foods: soups with cabbage, sarmale, sausages, etc.
I ate once with my host mom at our apartment, then we went to my partners house two hours later to eat more, then on our way home we stopped at my host mom's cousin's house and ate more dessert and drank more wine.  I ate very little at the last stop and the Moldovans could not understand why I was full, uncomfortable and just wanted to go home to sleep.

I really want to share with all of you the local foods and to do so I will be uploading the recipes to and posting the links on my blog!  Above you will find the link to the traditional sarmale, enjoy!

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