If you were to ask a Moldovan what the most traditional Moldovan dish is, she would most likely say mămăligă. It is served with soups, cheese, eggs, meats, and many other things. Mămăligă is like our version of corn bread but much more dense. During the winter a bowl of zeamă (chicken noodle soup) and mămăligă with sheep’s cheese (post to come…) was the way to my heart. Delicious. Another great dish is mămăligă with sheep’s cheese, scrambled eggs, and meat.

Corn Flour

In a steel pot add about 1.5 liters of water. Add a pinch of salt and a little bit of corn flour. Do not dump it in. Instead, scrape it from a bowl into the pot using your hand. You should add enough corn flour so that you cannot see the water. Bring to a boil. When it is ready, the corn flour will puff up. Add a lot more corn flour this time. Mix it a bit with a wooden rounded mămăligă stick (melesteu) to give it space to boil. It will be clumpy. Turn it down lower so that it is still boiling for about 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, stab it with the wooden stick 3 or 4 times to determine if you need to add more flour. If it isn’t thick enough, add more. Using the stick, mix it, fold it, and stab it several times until you don’t see the flour grains any longer or until it gets really sticky. You want it to be consistent, so don’t mix it too much.

Wet a spoon and using the back side of the spoon, scrape the wooden stick and the sides of the pot, forming the mămăligă into a half circle. When it is shaped how you want, stamp a cross in the top using the spoon. Turn up the heat and let it cook in its formation for 2-3 minutes. Turn it onto the board, and cut it with either thread (traditional) or a knife (practical).

Put water in the pot and let it soak.

Pofta Bună!