Moldova

About Moldova

A small country in eastern Europe that used to be part of the USSR became free in the early 1990s, though it still speaks Russian. It has very Slavic roots and mixes old and new traditions.


Culture

Holidays

Most retail businesses close on New Year's Day and Independence Day, but remain open on all other holidays. Christmas is celebrated either on January 7, the traditional date in Old Calendarists Eastern Orthodox Churches, or on December 25, with both dates being recognized as public holidays.

Food and Drink

Perhaps the best known Moldovan dish is a well-known Romanian dish, mămăligă (a cornmeal mush or porridge). This is a staple bread-like food on the Moldovan table, served as an accompaniment to stews and meat dishes or garnished with cottage cheese, sour cream, and pork rind. Regional delicacies include brânză (a brined cheese), and ghiveci (a mutton stew). Local wines accompany most meals. In certain regions, the cuisine of various minorities is predominant. In the Eastern areas, the Ukrainians eat borscht; in the South, the Bulgarians serve the traditional mangea (sauce with chicken), while the Gagauz prepare shorpa, a highly seasoned mutton soup; in the Russian communities, pelmeni (meat-filled dumplings) is popular. Also popular are a variant of Ukrainian varenyky called colţunaşi, filled with fresh white cheese (colţunaşi cu brînză), meat (pelmeni or colţunaşi cu carne), and cherries.