Join twowildtides on the country challenge. Each week, we’re going to be heading to a new country (in spirit). Primarily, we’ll be cooking a meal from each country; but we’ll also be watching travel documentaries, reading travel blogs, and listening to music. During the global pandemic, travel is largely inaccessible. We want to reignite our wanderlust, satisfy our travel bug as much as we can, and learn some new things along the way. I have a feeling our bucket list will have a number of items added to it through this experience as well. We created a simple alphabetical spreadsheet with all the countries of the world, and each week we will draw a random number that corresponds with a country on the spreadsheet.
This week, we’re visiting the landlocked Eastern European country of Moldova. Moldova has both a president and prime minister, both of whom are women and under age 50– Go Moldova! With moderate temperatures and distinct seasons, Moldova is apparently a lovely country to visit year-round.
Moldova’s culinary heritage is very similar to that of Romania and Ukraine. One of the most popular dishes is Sarmale, which was featured in this post by TasteAtlas, this post by the Peace Corps, this post by ATukTuk, this post by World of Moldova, and this post by MD4Ever.com. We followed this family recipe posted by a user on TFRecipes.com.
Sarmale is a cabbage roll dish and while the fillings can vary region-to-region, the most common ingredients are rice, pork, and root vegetables. Our sarmale was stuffed with rice, pork, carrots, parsnip, and onion, with tomato paste, dill weed, salt, and pepper for flavour.
Stuffing the cabbage leaves was not an easy task. The leaves ripped easily, they slid apart, and a lot of the filling fell out. Eventually, we managed to get something that resembled cabbage rolls.
This was a delicious meal. It was filling without feeling too heavy on the stomach, the cabbage did not overpower the flavours of the filling, and it was quite good leftover. But would I make it again? Probably not. It was way too much work for not enough reward, in my completely unqualified opinion. On our red, yellow, green rating scale, I give it a yellow; delicious but not a favourite.