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Gagauz National Cuisine by Lina Cipciu and Nastea Varban

Gagauz national cuisine is little known, but it hides huge treasures in it. The wealth of the Gagauz cuisine was developed over the centuries: Long since, thanks to the “sofra”, how Gagauz people called a round table, a woman felt like a real hostess in the kitchen. The whole family was gathering behind it, and each had his own place, and the love for long and plentiful feasts contributed to the variety of dishes. In this article we will tell you how the Gagauz cuisine is prepared by the inhabitants of our autonomy region.

In order to go deeper into the history of the origin of the Gagauz national cuisine, we talked with Yelena Warban. This old lady told us that the Gagauz people like to cook bulgur, plaçinta, as well as plaçinta with cheese, manca, kaurma, gözlema, dolma (stuffed peppers) and calli. It should be noted that the Gagauz cuisine has changed its diet over the years. Currently, in the list of Gagauz food there are also recipes from Russian cuisine.

According to Yelena Harlampievna, the cuisine has really changed. “Now people from Gagauzia make many different dishes: herring under a fur coat, meat salad. These dishes came to us from the Russian people.” Gagauzia is proud of its twenty-eight settlements, in which they cook differently, but equally deliciously. As our interlocutor specified "every housewife makes a dish in its own special way.”

Which dishes Gagauz people cook on holidays?

Inhabitants of Gagauzia cook different dishes. On Kolada (winter holiday) they cook pacha (frozen broth) and sarma (cabbage rolls). When New Year is coming plaçinta with cheese and kivirma are cooked.

A custom consists on putting into the plaçinta a little stick and a cent. According to tradition, the one who gets the stick cutting this plaçinta will get either a house or will be able to catch an animal. And the one who gets the cent will become rich.

Gagauz cuisine is famous for its variety of milk recipes, all kind of meat and curd. But something that is never missing is homemade wine.

What kind of food do Gagauz people eat in a normal day?

Gagauzians have a good tradition on preparing meat. Actually, kaurma is one of the most popular ways to cook it. Each housewife continues preparing a bit of lard for winter. It is kept in recipients with a salty solution and some spices. This food is in every fridge all over Gagauzia.

More often, Gagauz housewives are cooking dishes such as faisula (kidney beans), mamaliga (mashed corn), chorba, mandja, and kabakle (pastry with sweet pumpkin). Gagauz cuisine has common recipes with other cuisines around the world.

The variety of dishes on the table is promoted by the weather in the region, the rural roots of many Gagauz people and, also, their love for long feasts. Our national cuisine is a little piece of the Turkish speaking community living in the south of Moldova. On its formation, Balkan and Turkish cuisines were a big influence.

From long time, Gagauz people have been engaged in wine making, grazing, and agriculture and poultry rearing. And each thing found its reflection in the cuisine, where they are using beans, vegetables, curd, mutton and poultry.

Their recipes are shining with interesting ingredients and bold decisions. In any restaurant of Gagauzia you can order homemade Gagauz food. And, by the way, you can be sure that it will be very delicious. In Chisinau, capital of Moldova, a Gagauzian established the restaurant “Gok-Oguz”. And this restaurant, through its Menu, glorifies Gagauz cuisine.

Gagauz cuisine is delicious.

Gagauz cuisine, of course, it is delicious, as it is made with love. Each nation has its history, its food and its society. We in our article have specified the features for preparing meals like Gagauz people. Living here in our homeland and eating the dishes created by our mothers’ hands, this has exceeded all our principles.

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Miras-Moldova works to raise awareness of the Gagauzian culture, encourage social integration of ethnic minorities into Moldovan society and to save the cultural heritage of the Moldovan population.


Miras-Moldova also supports families of disabled youth from surrounding communities. Volunteers from the public administration work with individuals with a range of disabilities including physical, sensory, mental and learning disabilities.

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