When history meets food aficionados and brings on the table the best of the Romanian cuisine

Oana Vasiliu 21/04/2018 | 08:55

In the city capital, the HORECA scene changes constantly. New restaurants, bistros, wine bars, hanging out places with finger food raise and fall, especially in the city center. The dynamic is quite impressive, taking into consideration that 60% of the HORECA businesses fail in less than 9 months. But there are some places where business stands for years, due to the fact that clients come here for the traditional food experience. And there is more to happen.

“Romanian traditional cuisine”, “best place in town where you can find Romanian food”, “best Romanian flavours”, are some of the marketing messages you can find when trying to figure out what’s with our local cuisine. Of course, Facebook, TripAdvisers and Google are everyone’s best friends when we need information, but behind some kitchen doors traditional magic flavours happens.

I always said that in Bucharest there is a lack of imagination when it comes to traditional cuisine. The food is good, but not spectacular or yummy-tasteful. So when The Romanian Gastronomy Restoration Association (ARGR) proposed a series of food events with Romanian traditional food as it used to be, I was more than delighted. There is a lack of biography when it comes to traditional recipes and food heritage. Some food historians tries to put every source together, but the process is quite difficult. But people from ARGR, especially Amalia Consulea and Alexandru Consulea, also owners of Zexe Restaurant, are struggling to make it happen. And there are other food aficionados, like Cosmin Dragomir, owner of Gastro Art, the first magazine dedicated to the history of the Romanian gastronomy and hospitality, who help them out.

With the documentation offered by Cosmin Dragomir and the great cooking skills of Amalia Consulea, under the supervision of Alexandru Consulea, a series of  gastronomic refunds – culinary archeology evenings are happening in Zexe Restaurant.

The first one was dedicated to the great Wallachian prince Constantin Brancoveanu, named Brancoveanu’s feast. But there is more to come. “The event is hosted every two weeks by Zexe Restaurant and having Amalia Consulea as chef, using as inspiration the Brancoveanu’s manuscript found in the Romanian Academy’s archive, named precisely “A world in a cooking book, manuscript from the Brancoveanu’s period (editor’s note: O lame intr-o carte de bucate, manuscris din epoca brancoveneasca)”, basically the oldest Romanian collection of recipes, attributed to Constantin Cantacuzino. Moreover, other historical writings from 19th century signed by Mihail Kogalniceanu, Constantin Negruzzi, Maria Maurer, Ekaterina Steriady, Crist Ioninn etc.”, explained to Business Review Cosmin Dragomir to Business Review.

How was the feast?

Take a look at the photos and descriptions.

Zexe Restaurant Bucharest
Starter was made of meatballs of veal liver with parsley, fenugreek and raisins in butter sauce, served with meat juice and gooseberries.
Zexe Restaurant Bucharest
Second dish, some fried veal brain with indescribable goodies, served with a green sauce made of parsley, spinach, sorrel and mint, spiced up with vinegar and almonds.
Zexe Restaurant Bucharest
 More veal was cooked for this feast, this time some veal breast cooked in white wine and pepper, cloves and nutmeg, together with turnips, amazingly dressed with dried plums and cherries.
Zexe Restaurant Bucharest
Last but not least, the dessert, an amazing pear cooked in wine and sugar, cloves and cinnamon, everything under the magic tastes of eggs and almonds foam.

 

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