A lovely celebration in Moldova and Romania that celebrates March 1st, and the coming of spring.
Gifts of small tokens of affection, most often red and white, are a fun part of a holiday that has its roots in the ancient past.
Another non-review book review!
I live in a part of the US that is so-respectfully referred to as “flyover country”. We are left to drift along in the fog of the national consciousness, taking form only when needed as a stereotype. We are sturdy, honest hard-working “real” Americans who have no fashion sense and eat nothing but mayonnaise, except when we go fancy at Applebee’s. And everyone lives on farms and knows an Amish person. Our cities are on fire all of the time due to a toxic mixture of poisonous rivers and horrible racism that exists only in Cincinnati and no other place in America.
Clichés like this make me a bit sensitive, especially when the verdict is being rendered by someone from an imperial city. Places like London, New York, Toyko – they have a huge amount of good press already built in; if you live there, you get a lot of credit with very little effort. The further your home territory is off the beaten path, the less people know what to think about it; unless things are shiny and pretty and fun at first glance, your town has an uphill climb. And some places just get more grief than others – they are usually the ones who need it the least, and deserve it even less.
With that chip solidly on shoulder, I approached my book of choice about Moldova a little cautiously…written by a English comedian about his travels through a struggling, post-Iron Curtain country, there seemed a good chance of it being mean-spirited. But my worries were unfounded; this was a openhearted story, told with fondness and love.
And look…it’s a movie now!
Um, yeah. Moldovan Chicken Soup (or Zeama) is THE BEST THING EVER.
And so totally easy. I keep saying this about many of the things I’ve cooked so far for this blog, but I will be making this recipe all of the time. Trust me – it’s a winner.
All ingredients for this meal were purchased at Findlay Market.
Both recipes in this post are adapted from PapaBuna.com.
The original recipe calls for fresh, handmade noodles.
I used angel hair pasta from Ohio City Pasta (Findlay Market location); you can find a recipe for homemade noodles under the Miscellaneous category on Papabuna.com.
Fresh herbs are essential here. I’m sure you would end up with a tasty soup if you use dried, but it would be a significantly different thing…
Moldovans usually serve Zeama with a traditional corn bread called Mamaliga. My first attempt was a complete failure, but I’ll try again one of these days with this recipe
I’m allergic to walnuts and pecans, which is a total annoyance. Some recipes don’t do well with substitutions, but fortunately this one handles change nicely. I used almonds; walnuts are in the original recipe.
I am a terrible blogger. I’ve had a hell of a day and honestly cannot string more than a few sentences together…
Therefore, I’ll go with one of my slacker-type posts and let a professional journalist explain Transnistria (or Transdniestr, if you prefer).