Nicolae Klepper
Hippocrene Books, Inc., New York, 1999
ISBN 0-7818-0766-2


"Nicolae Klepper's book, Taste of Romania, is a brilliant cultural and culinary history of this little known country, a travel guide, a feast of information about Romania's folklore and —most importantly— a collection of recipes to be treasured, tested and enjoyed. "

—George Lang
Owner, Cafe des Artistes

"... dishes like creamy cauliflower soup, sour cream-enriched mamaliga (the Romanian polenta), lamb stewed in sauerkraut juice and scallions, and mititei  (exactly like the ones I tasted so long ago in Bucharest) are simple and appealing ... Klepper paints a pretty picture of his native country's culinary possibilities."

—Colman Andrews, Saveur magazine

"It's a mine of information and a beautiful read—a wonderful and thrilling way of discovering Romania."

—Claudia Roden,
author, The Book of Jewish Food

Here is a real taste of both Old World and modern Romanian culture in a unique book that combines more than 140 tasty traditional recipes with enchanting examples of Romania's folklore, humor, art, poetry, and proverbs. A wealth of archival material provides a glimpse into the 4,000-year-old history of the Romanian people and their Roman ancestry. This comprehensive and well-organized guide to Romanian cuisine contains recipes for many classic favorites including mamaliga, a polenta-style cornmeal, Eggplant Salad, Fish Zacusca, Mititei Sausages (The Wee Ones), and Pan-fried Pork with Polenta. Savor the tastes of one of Europe's heartiest and most varied culinary traditions!


"An insightful and much-needed synthesis addressed to all those who want to understand Romanian history. politics, culture, and society."
—Professor Vladimir Tismaneanu, University of Maryland, author of Stalinism for All
    Seasons: A Political History of Romanian Communism

Romania's history can be traced back to the days of Roman invaders, who gave the region its name. The central characteristics of Romanian cuisine is its great variety. It is a cuisine influenced by endless waves of invaders: the Greeks, with whom Romanians traded; the Turks, who for centuries occupied provinces that are now part of Romania; as well as Slavic, Germanic and Magyar neighbors. All of these influences gradually blended into an authentic and delicious Romanian culinary tradition.

Fish and seafood are plentiful, brought in from the Danube delta and the Black Sea, and Romanian cooks have created many original dishes with subtle seasoning and marvelous taste. Spit-roasted chickens, veal, lamb, and fish are in great demand, served with fresh vegetables, potatoes or mamaliga (boiled cornmeal). Stuffed grape leaves and cabbage are also commonly served delicacies. This book includes a generous selection of Romania's characteristic dishes and favorites, including traditional Romanian Lamb Haggis, Eggplant Salad, Braised Pork with Sauerkraut, and, of course, the classic little grilled sausages, Mititei (The Wee Ones).

Over 140 recipes, including the specialty dishes of Romania's top chefs in the USA, are intermingled with fables, poetry, photos and charming illustrations, making this book a genuine treasury of both Romanian cuisine and culture. Also includes an appendix of Romanian wines and an index in Romanian and English.

NICOLAE KLEPPER, born in Romania, came to America with his parents at the outbreak of World War II, at the age of 12, and settled in New York. Later, returning from a tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Europe, he decided to devote his career to international business. After obtaining Engineering and Business degrees from the University of Denver, he worked and lived in Europe, Africa and the Middle East for the next 25 years. Taste of Romania, his first book, is a result of his life-long love affair with cookery, and a desire to make his native country better known to the world. Mr. Klepper has three sons and a daughter, all living around the world. He and his wife, Ann, reside in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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