Dinner in Romania

Food. It’s one of the most astonishing things about traveling the world. They say food brings people together, that you have to taste a culture to understand it. During my internship in Bucharest, I was beyond lucky to taste Romanian cuisine in the most memorable way. At the end of my first month in the city, another intern at my company, Oana, invited me to her family’s home for dinner. She knew that I was missing home cooked food and had requested her mother to make me traditional Romanian meals. The moment I entered the house, I was greeted with warmth and kindness. Her family welcomed me with open armed, and had prepared a feast! There was sarmale, cabbage rolls stuffed with pork and rice. Her mom also made grilled sausages served with mustard. My favorite was the beef stuffed with mushroom and bacon served in a tomato and vegetable sauce. We sat around the table, and I shared stories of my childhood growing up in Vietnam. We laughed about Oana’s mischievous middle school days, and for the first time since coming to Romania, I felt at home away from home. Just when I thought dinner was over, out comes a plate of dessert! It was indeed heaven on Earth! It was Papanasi, a traditional pastry consisting of a fried sweet dough drizzled with cream and jam. It was a very special moment for me sitting there surrounded by a mother who fed me like I was her own, and a friend who wanted to share with me the beauty of her culture.

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