What is the Romanian dish Covrigi?
Covrigi, often referred to as the Romanian pretzels, are a delightful treat made from a light and airy leavened dough. These delicate spirals of soft and chewy dough are twisted into the iconic shape of a pretzel, giving it a delightful texture that has become a staple of Romanian cuisine. The dough is then seasoned with a sprinkle of salt, sesame seeds, or poppy seeds, creating a crunchy exterior that gives way to a soft, fluffy interior.
But, the flavor of covrigi doesn’t end there. In the region of Dobrogea, the locals have added a twist to this classic treat, by incorporating pieces of juicy and plump olives, mixed with sweet and juicy raisins, giving it a unique and delightful taste.
These tasty treats are enjoyed as street food, sold from street kiosks known as covrigarii. The warm and comforting aroma of freshly baked covrigi drifts through the air, drawing crowds of people in for a bite. Whether you’re taking a leisurely stroll through the bustling streets or seeking a quick snack on the go, the irresistible scent of these warm and crispy pretzels will draw you in like a magnet.
So, if you’re looking for a taste of authentic Romanian cuisine, be sure to try a warm and freshly baked covrigi. Whether it’s a classic salt or sesame seed flavor or the more exotic olive and raisin variety, this treat is sure to become a staple of your food memories.
What are the origins and history of the Romanian dish Covrigi?
The origin of the Romanian dish “Covrigi” is unclear, but it is believed to have been influenced by similar baked goods from Central Europe, such as pretzels. The word “covrigi” is thought to derive from the Turkish word “gevrek,” which means “crunchy.” The dish has been a staple of Romanian cuisine for many centuries and is still popular today as a snack or street food.
Covrigi were traditionally made by bakers and sold in bakeries, but they have since become a staple of street food culture, with vendors selling them from small carts or kiosks. Over time, the recipe has evolved, with various flavorings and toppings being added, such as salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cheese, chocolate, fruit, walnuts, and even olives and raisins in the Dobrogea region.
Despite its humble beginnings, covrigi have become a beloved part of Romanian culture and cuisine, enjoyed by people of all ages and walks of life. The warm, comforting aroma of freshly baked covrigi continues to evoke memories and evoke a sense of nostalgia for many Romanians, making it a timeless and enduring treat.
What are some dishes from other countries that are similar to the Romanian dish Covrigi?
There are several dishes from other countries that are similar to the Romanian dish “Covrigi”. Some examples include:
- Pretzels – Pretzels are a staple of German cuisine and are similar in shape and texture to covrigi. They are usually salted and can also be flavored with different toppings like sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and cheese.
- Bagels – Bagels are a traditional Jewish bread that are boiled and then baked, giving them a chewy texture. Like covrigi, they can be topped with various flavorings, such as salt, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds.
- Bialys – Bialys are a type of bread roll that originated in Poland and are similar to bagels. They have a chewy texture and are often topped with onion and poppy seeds.
- Brezen – Brezen are a type of soft pretzel from Germany that are similar to covrigi in shape and texture. They are usually salted and can also be flavored with different toppings, such as cheese or mustard.
These dishes share similarities with covrigi, but each has its own unique flavor and cultural significance. They are all enjoyed as snacks or street food and are beloved by people of all ages and walks of life.
Vegetarian & Vegan options
Is the Romanian dish Covrigi vegetarian? If not, can it be made vegetarian?
Yes. The traditional Romanian dish “Covrigi” is typically made with a simple recipe of flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and oil. It does not contain any animal products and can be considered vegetarian.
Is the Romanian dish Covrigi vegan? If not, can it be made vegan?
The traditional Romanian dish “Covrigi” is typically made with a simple recipe of flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and oil. It does not contain any animal products and can be considered vegan.
However, some variations of covrigi may include fillings such as cheese, which would make them not suitable for vegans. It is possible to make vegan-friendly covrigi by using plant-based fillings, such as fruit, chocolate, or nuts, instead of cheese.
To make a vegan version of covrigi, simply omit any animal products from the recipe and substitute them with suitable plant-based alternatives. This way, everyone can enjoy the delicious and unique taste of covrigi, regardless of their dietary preferences.
Traditional Romanian Covrigi Recipe
Covrigi, also known as Romanian pretzels, are a popular street food in Romania. These soft, chewy treats are made with a simple recipe of flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and oil, and are traditionally flavored with salt or sesame seeds.
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Preparation Time: 2 hours (includes rising time)
Serving: 12-15 covrigi
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 package of active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of warm water
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
- Coarse salt or sesame seeds for topping (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Mix well.
- Gradually add warm water and oil to the flour mixture. Mix until the dough comes together and forms a smooth ball.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into 12-15 pieces and roll each piece into a long rope, about 8-10 inches long. Twist the rope into a pretzel shape and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Brush the covrigi with a beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse salt or sesame seeds, if desired.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Nutritional Information (per serving, based on 12 servings):
- Calories: 150
- Total Fat: 7 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 400 mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 19 g
- Dietary Fiber: 1 g
- Sugar: 2 g
- Protein: 3 g
Enjoy your warm and delicious Romanian Covrigi! Serve as a snack or with a cup of coffee or tea. These covrigi are best enjoyed the same day they are baked, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
More Covrigi Recipes (in the Romanian language)
Covrigi cu susan sau mac – reteta de covrigi crocanti de casa
Covrigi de casa / covrigi cu sare – reteta video
Covrigi de Buzau