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Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Taste of Romania in Vienna


Today is celebrated the Great Union Day, Romania’s national holiday since 1989. With this occasion I would like to open your appetite for Romanian cuisine if you haven't had the chance yet.

I live in Vienna since October 2002 and until the spring of 2012 I never bought Romanian foods here. In the past years I heard about the existence of some Romanian grocery stores, never had the curiosity to go there because I was told that they were expensive. After a while they all closed down, many Romanians sharing with me the same principle of not buying very expensive basic foods.

Sure, it is nice to have a taste from home in a foreign country but knowing that the distance from Vienna to Romania is pretty short (560km, almost equally as from Vienna to Munich), people don’t want to pay prices higher than the double ones from Romania. So, each time I felt for “my food”, I called my mum and asked her to send me by bus a bag filled with everything. It worked in the winter months, the food arrived fresh (even the eggs!) because of the cold weather; but in the summer times I craved for “real fruits” (tasty, juicy, perfumed), cheese or cakes.

This year, when I first discovered Carpatia, I said that it is about time to give my mum a break :)


Carpatia is a nice, friendly store located within the Meidlinger Markt. It recently celebrated 1 year since its opening and I think that it has a good potential to live long. The foods choice is wide, the prices are ok, everything is fresh and most of all, the owners make sure to pick the superior quality type of many national products. Everytime I contacted them on facebook or by email, they immediately answered my questions.


Recently, while visiting their website, I noticed that they offer home delivery as well. It’s a great thing as I live on the other side of the city and it always takes me 1h (one way) to get there. They deliver free of charge for bills above 35€ or a 4€ extra charge for bills under 35€, so I happily ordered online.


Tomorrow I’ll cook a full menu of Romanian dishes as we will have guests for dinner, I’m looking forward!

I have a special feeling when I take the chance to eat my childhood taste from time to time, sometimes it makes me very melancholic! It also keeps me connected to my past and habits.


Meat & cheese selection:


Sweets:


Drinks:


My lovely friend Marina is a happy customer :)

Menu Of The Day

I recently met a nice person, Beatrice Gheorghe, at a great concert hosted by the Romanian Embassy. It felt like we knew each other since ages and even if we didn’t have much time to chat, she told me about her bio-food project that she is pursuing while also working on her Political Science master thesis. I found it wonderful and was looking forward to visit her selling point. On Fridays she is at Karmelitermarkt (from 8am - about 1pm) and on Saturdays at Vorgartenmarkt, same hours. While visiting her food stand, and enjoying the view (meaning the displayed foods) I could observe the reaction of the people passing by: some were incredibly curious, some neutral and others very reserved towards our traditional foods. It got to the point to wonder myself if some Viennese even know where Romania is. To them it seems that Romania is a far away, scary land. I salute people’s openness to new, unseen, untouched things and I disapprove closed mentalities. I hope that Beatrice will hold her energy and enthusiasm every time she will promote her delicious foods!

Smoked Cheese
Getting Help From Her Boyfriend, Michael
Home-made Zacusca

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