#168: Moldova

“Kisses are a better fate than wisdom” – E.E. Cummings

Yeah, I know it’s sappy. I also give exactly zero damns about it. I had my first Valentine’s Day date EVER and it was perfect. So I’m basically on cloud nine a whole lot of the time these days. I’ve turned into that gushing, ridiculous girl that last year me would have rolled her eyes SO hard at. I’m not even sorry, only letting you all know that it’s now a thing and I’m now a thing… and I’m smitten AF. So to all you people out there that think (slash downright know) that I’ve done lost the remainder of my marbles: “There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.” I guess my man, Nietzsche, really understood a girl. Now let’s all just lose our minds and find our souls!

THE DINNER: Similar cuisine to Romanian and eastern European nations of the same, the food of Moldova features beef, pork, potatoes and cabbage. Our sweethearts in check, our sweet tooth needed some loving too. For this reason, we picked Cusma Lui Guguta. This is a crepe style cake that is filled with tart cherries. It’s like a Swiss roll meets black forest pancakes dressed up with some vanilla creme… it’s all light and fluffy and sour.

There’s quite a lot of symbolism and folklore with this week’s dish. Allow me to extrapolate. The shape of the cake is like a hat. It’s based on a children’s character naked Guguta that is taught in many primary school lessons, and wears a pointed hat like the shape of this cake. The closest thing I can compare it stateside is the hungry caterpillar cakes that are popular with grade school parties. Anyway, it’s endearing and charming and reminds people of childhood; so it’s beloved in Moldova.

Cusma Lui Guguta Recipe: http://www.fantezieinbucatarie.ro/2011/10/cusma-lui-guguta.html

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OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:

Ease of prep and cooking: 10 STARS out of 5 this meal!
Was it in Romanian? Yes, indeed, it was. Was it tricky to make all the individual swiss rolls? You guessed it, yes it was. This one was a whole lot of patience… 4 hours + worth of patience in fact. And it took two days. And it was a total “shit show”– but all that aside, there were no strange ingredients and we were able to actually make the damned thing… so if you’re in it for some free time to burn, you’re absolutely going to be able to tackle this one like Von Miller (6’2″ sack monster).

Best dish of all time scale: 4.75 STARS out of 5 for Meal!!
We had some guest judges for this one, guys, so hang ten for the reviews. At family dinner on Sunday night, we all were able to dig into this one. It was a truth universally acknowledged that it was delicious and beautiful. We wanted it to be more something… boozey? Sweet? Chocolatey? All in all, it was flaky and tart. It was sour creamy and it was definitely smooth thanks to the homemade whipped cream. It wasn’t a black forest cake, nor was it was cherry pie. It fell into this odd middle ground and for that it earned it’s score. Not quite a pie, not quite a cake… not quite a 5 star.

Next posting will take us into #169  which makes this 26 countries from the end! That country will be Equatorial Guinea and after this cold snap we are in, it’s going to be a welcome vacation! I’ll be in New Mexico, but L has this one wrapped up solo like the bossy that she is!

Happy Valentines, lovers! 
– L & K

 

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