August 30, 2013
Moldovan Food: From Chisinau With Love
I hopped on the bus from Iasi to Chisinau, after finding a great site about the whole process. I discovered that getting a visa for Moldova was surprisingly easy if you’re fortunate enough to possess an EU passport. As the country has made itself independent from the Soviet Union, visa restrictions aren’t as tight as say entering Russia or more commonly, applying for a green card in America. The country completely bowled me over with the likes of Orheiul Vechi and the country-but-nobody-believes-it’s-a-country that is Transnistria. Yet as well all know by now, there’s one thing I’m always keen to try in a country, and that’s its cuisine. Moldova’s capital, Chisinau (pronounced kish-ee-now), certainly came up trumps when it came to Moldovan food.
What exactly is Moldovan food, though? Well it turns out it’s not entirely different from Romanian food. The two countries share a lot of history – the region of Romania closest to the Moldovan border is actually called Moldavia – and the languages are practically the same, although you will see the Cyrillic alphabet quite a bit in Chisinau. Then again Moldova, like Romania, threw up a lot of surprises, and you’ll find a heck of a lot of English speakers in Chisinau. Especially the people who’ll serve up some delicious Moldovan food.
The restaurant scene in Chisinau is surprisingly sophisticated – not something you’d expect from the capital city of the country that often wins the definite non-honour of being Europe’s poorest country, unless you count Kosovo. The Cactus Cafe was my favourite place to eat in Chisinau, but definitely not a place to visit if you’re on a serious budget. My other favourite is a canteen whose name I cannot remember for the life of me, but if you’re on Bulevardul Stefan Cel Mare and walking away from the central market and towards the Cathedral Park, take a left at Alexander Pushkin Street and walk until you see, well, a canteen that has a pretty gaudy orange and white decor. Cheap, delicious Moldovan food awaits you inside.
And now without further ado, I’ll stop babbling and give you what you want – Moldovan food photos. You know you want it. Scroll down and enjoy the ride.
So there you have it, folks! Now, I want to hear from you! Does Moldovan food appeal to you? Which of these photos would you like to take a bite out of? Have you ever tried Moldovan food or wine before? Let us know in the comments below, or shout out on Facebook or Twitter.