Monday, August 17, 2009

Food for Thought

August 13, 2009—Food for Thought

A few people have asked me about the quality and types food here. I suppose I will take a moment with this post to talk about the varieties here.

In general you could say that Moldovans are a natural-food kind of folk. Not your typically hippies, but nearly every time you sit down to eat with another family they speak highly of their vegetables (and wine) slanging words such as organic and natural. I haven’t seen any practices that contradict their statements, although I highly doubt that they would pass the organic label test. Water for one thing is not purely water here. That being said I believe that the vegetables and fruit are extremely tasty regardless and I will undoubtedly eat them every day.

One thing that I find funny here, not because Moldova is ridiculous, but because American culture is ridiculous is that whatever food you find yourself eating, you probably know what that food is much faster than you would in America. The obvious factor is a little higher here. Often times back in the states you could ask yourself “what is this that I am eating?” After a moment or two you have your “ah-ha” moment and you realize that “hey, this is fish.” Here that mystery is taken away, not a bad thing at all, but that “hey, this is fish” moment definitely comes when the plate is set in front you.

I think this should happen a little more in America. It really puts the action into perspective. Rather than associating the aesthetically-pleasing package in the store with rabbit I now have a completely different association—a bit more graphic—not gonna lie. We have a tendency to deny what it is that we are eating. It is funny the more you think about. Instead of seeing a picture of a cow on a carton of milk or slab of meat, you will probably see some sort of caricature of that animal or another telling you that this is the product cows prefer. This is definitely not a call for vegetarianism or veganism, merely a note that maybe we should be a little more conscious of the things we call food. I suppose what bugs me is the way that we euphemize what we do. In our world food is magic and appears out of nowhere every day. Saying “It was either me or the cow—I won” loud and proud is much more acceptable to me, at least then you are acknowledging the existence. On a similar note I hear that chicken/rooster feet are pretty tasty—they are considered a delicacy here. I, myself, have not had the pleasure yet, but I will definitely let you know how they are when I finally do.

On a similar note, a friend of my said something very simple and interesting the other day, he mentioned “the juice tastes like fruit.” I hadn’t had any juice yet, so the next day I ventured out to make the purchase and low and behold it does. It literally tastes someone juiced some kind of fruit in front of you and handed you the glass. As much as I love artificial flavor number 5, I Moldova wins in the juice department. And that is all I have to say about that.

Typical meals


-Pasta and brunza (it feels weird to call it Macaroni and Cheese)
-pasta and eggs with something like ham diced up in it
-hard-boiled eggs

-all accompanied with bread w/ a little bit of hotdog and a more traditional cheese melted on top


-Always - one of the variants of Borscht
-Always – a variant of cucumber and tomato salad.
-Maybe accompanied with some sort of rice and chicken dish

With nearly every meal that is not breakfast I have had some sort of cucumber, tomato mixture. A great salad that I hope to not get sick of, but most likely will. Sometimes it comes with hot peppers, sometimes with cabbage and occasionally with Brunza, which, I think is a pretty good cheese that comes from goats (don’t quote me on that source). My last family fed me it all the time but always told me that no one in their family appreciated it.


-Always – a variant of cucumber and tomato salad.
-Maybe Borscht or Soup
-Mostly likely chicken, maybe rabbit.

The one major problem I have with food here is the amount of oil put into ALL the food. Think about what a lot of oil would look like on, say, a salad or in soup—now times that by ten and maybe you would be getting close to how much is used here. I’m tired of talking about food and just tired in general. Goodnight.

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