Lately, we’ve been trying to steer clear of junk foods and other processed items (because of “resolutions” lol), but I want to share with you some popular snack items here in Romania. [Some of them can be purchased on Amazon and I will provide you with an affiliate link. If you use my link to purchase the item, I will get a few pennies. And if I get enough pennies, I will buy a coffee and think lovingly of my readers.]
Okay, let’s get started. What item is one of the most beloved and most cherished snack foods for Romanians? What item do they buy after school or after work and eat while walking home?
3 syllables: Pufuleţi. (the ţ makes a sound like the -ts in “cats”)
This puffy snack is similar to puffed Cheetos in the states, except with less cheese dust and less orange fingers. I’ve seen people with 30 bags of pufuleţi in their shopping cart, no joke.
Gusto (available for purchase on Amazon) seems to be like the most popular brand and many enjoy their gusto pufuleţi with simple salt. On a side note, when I first saw these, I thought they were those things you use to pack boxes.
Personally, I am a big fan of the Star brand caşcaval (cheese) flavor because I am a sucker for that sweet, sweet cheese dust.
Next up, Eugenia.
These cookies (? biscuits?) are a cheap, fast snack that taste slightly like chocolate and rum. The website claims that the original version have the highest amount of “cream” (40%!). I tried dipping these in milk and they fell apart almost instantly. My fiance loves these things, but I don’t trust any cookie that I can’t dip in milk, so he is the only one in our house that eats them. Now that I’ve gotten you excited for Eugenia, here is a link to buy them from Amazon.
Feast your eyes on the trusted meal of travelers: 7 Days Croissants
These dependable cream-filled bread corns (seriously, they are called “corn” in Romania) are great on the go for when you need to eat standing up or driving. There are so many varieties with different kinds of cream filling and different sizes (there’s a new Giga version that is as big as my foot, no lie). If you’ve got a hankering for what I’ve described, you can order them here.
Are you living away from your Romanian grandmother and you feel like a piece of your soul is missing?
It might be that you need some Zacusca!
Zacusca is typically made from roasted eggplant or mushrooms and then spread thickly on some toasted potato bread.
My favorite part of the year is zacusca season because my entire apartment bloc smells deliciously weird. Everyone is roasting eggplant and it wafts up to our apartment and collects there. I don’t actually get to eat any of the zacusca, unless someone takes pity on me and gifts me some that their mother made, because I don’t think my Romanian cooking skills are good enough yet to try making it.
If you’re like me, you can just purchase some from the store, but a tiny part of you will cry inside because it’s just not the same as homemade. If you’re more crafty in the kitchen, here is a recipe and you can try out your skills. Don’t blame me if you house smells like roasted eggplant for days, the zacusca is worth it.
Last but not least, one of the most popular snack foods in Romania:
You heard it right – sunflower and pumpkin seeds. You know how I know these are popular here? The shells are everywhere. Everywhere! Find a bench to sit on? Look underneath, there’s seed shells. My fiance is eating seeds AS I WRITE. I can hear him crunch. Thankfully, seeds are loaded with vitamins and minerals and stuff, so it’s an easily transportable way to get those things into your body. Maybe you can tell, I am not a fan 😛 Nevertheless, in Romania, find a group of teenagers, find a bag of seeds.
There are many more snack foods available here, but I think these are the top. Surprisingly, there are not too many American brands available here (other than Lay’s Potato Chips). I wonder how Romanians will react when Hot Cheetos hit the market?