The foods eaten by the people of Moldova

The cuisine of Moldova has evolved over the past 500 years under various influences, primarily Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, and Ottoman Turkish. The country's rich soil and temperate climate have made agriculture an important part of its economy, leading to a cuisine based largely on fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, and meats. Here's a look at the traditional foods and influences:

Staple Foods

  1. Cornmeal: Known as "mămăligă," this is a staple food often used as a bread substitute or side dish.
  2. Wheat Bread: Moldovans traditionally consume a variety of breads, from white to whole grain.
  3. Potatoes: Consumed in various forms including mashed, fried, or boiled.


  1. Pork: Pork is the most popular meat and is prepared in various ways, including sausages and stews.
  2. Chicken: Used in soups, roasts, and other dishes.
  3. Fish: While less common than meat, fish from the rivers and lakes are consumed, often grilled or fried.
  4. Dairy: Cheese, sour cream, and yogurt are popular.

Vegetables and Fruits

  1. Cabbage: Often used in salads, soups, and pickles.
  2. Tomatoes and Cucumbers: Common in salads and as side dishes.
  3. Plums, Apples, and Grapes: These fruits are commonly eaten fresh, dried, or as preserves.

Legumes and Nuts

  1. Beans: Usually prepared as soups or stews.
  2. Walnuts: Used in various desserts and pastries.

Spices and Seasonings

  1. Garlic: Widely used in Moldovan cuisine.
  2. Dill and Parsley: Common herbs used for seasoning.
  3. Bay Leaf and Black Pepper: Often used in soups and stews.

Traditional Dishes

  1. Sarmale: Cabbage rolls stuffed with a mixture of rice and meat.
  2. Mămăligă: Cornmeal porridge, similar to polenta, often served with cheese or sour cream.
  3. Mititei: Grilled sausages made of minced meat, garlic, and spices.
  4. Zeama: A chicken soup with noodles and vegetables.

Sweets and Desserts

  1. Plăcintă: A pastry filled with cheese, apples, or other fruits.
  2. Cozonac: A sweet bread usually prepared for holidays, filled with walnuts, poppy seeds, or raisins.


  1. Wine: Moldova has a long tradition of winemaking, and wine is a commonly consumed beverage.
  2. Țuică: A plum brandy.
  3. Kvass: A fermented beverage made from bread, popular especially in rural areas.

Foreign Influences and Modern Foods

  1. Russian Influence: Dishes like borscht and certain types of dumplings have Russian roots.
  2. Romanian Influence: Many traditional Moldovan dishes, like mămăligă and sarmale, are also found in Romanian cuisine.
  3. Ottoman Influence: Dishes like kebabs and certain pastry methods can be traced back to Ottoman culinary traditions.
  4. Modern Cuisine: In urban centers, global foods like pizza, burgers, and sushi are increasingly popular.

Moldovan cuisine is hearty and flavorful, making extensive use of the country's abundant agricultural produce. Over the last 500 years, it has assimilated various influences while retaining its core characteristics, offering a rich and varied culinary experience.

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