The Easter lent is the longest of all four main lent periods in Romania and lasts for forty days plus the week before Easter (also known as the Passion Week. During this period, people abstain from consuming alcohol, meat, dairy and eggs.
After fasting for so long, Romanians look forward to indulging in the traditional Easter menu. Preparations for the Easter feast start days before the celebrations, so that there is plenty of time to prepare the rather complex dishes Romanian families celebrate with.
Food is a big part of the holiday, but also a pretext for social gatherings, with families and friends breaking bread together for Sunday lunch or dinner as a way to commemorate the revival of Christ.
The menu is really diverse, so that all family members find something to cater to their liking. Here’s a list of the most beloved traditional dishes:
Painted Eggs. You can’t have Easter without eating at least a couple of hard-boiled eggs. A pinch of salt is all you need to enjoy this long-lasting Easter tradition.
Roast lamb. Usually served with spring roasted vegetables, such as carrots, green beans, potatoes, and green peas.
Drob. Usually made of lamb or pork organs, finely chopped, mixed with eggs, parsley and vegetables.
Traditional sponge cake (cozonac). A delicious sweet bread typically filled with Turkish delight, nuts and cocoa.
Pasca: A special kind of cheese cake with a sweet or salty cheese filling and sometimes raisins.
Red wine. There’s nothing that accompanies lamb stake better than a chilled glass of red wine, especially if it’s produced locally by villagers or by one of the iconic wineries in Romania.
Other foods many Romanians eat on Easter are the famous sarmale (minced meat in cabbage rolls) and boeuf salad (finely chopped beef or chicken (despite its name) mixed with carrots, potatoes, mayonnaise, and pickles).