One of my biggest fears about joining the Peace Corps and moving to another country, particularly one that I didn’t know much about, was the food. I’m a picky eater, and while I’m open to trying new foods, I don’t like a lot of foods. I also have a problem with foods with certain textures. Thankfully, both of my host families have been accommodating and haven’t been bothered by my dietary preferences. There are plenty of things I eat that I don’t necessarily like, but there are also foods that I do not eat, for example: brinza (sheep cheese), mayonnaise, and fish. Luckily, I have always loved potatoes, in pretty much every form, which is a huge staple in Moldova. And I’ve learned to like some new foods as well!
So what do I eat on a weekly basis? For the past week, I’ve kept track of all of the things I’ve eaten (both prepared for me by my host mom and some that I’ve prepared for myself). This week, I prepared more of my meals than normal as my host mom has been very busy. Here’s one week of meals from my life in Moldova (*=I prepared; **=prepared for me):
BREAKFAST*: Scrambled eggs, wheat bread with butter, an orange, and a cup of black tea with sugar. // LUNCH*: Ham on bread with butter, pretzels, homemade donuts (a first!), and a cup of chamomile tea with sugar. // DINNER: Colţunaşi (meat-filled dumplings, a lot like ravioli) with butter and chamomile tea.
BREAKFAST**: Oatmeal and chamomile tea. // LUNCH**: Macaroni with hot milk, an apple, a banana, and grape compot (a homemade juice made by boiling fruit in water and then preserving it in large jars- it is absolutely delicious!). // DINNER**: Boiled potatoes with butter, pretzels, and chamomile tea. Also a glass of wine later when my host mom and I were stopped on our evening walk by a group of older women who insisted we have some wine with them.
BREAKFAST**: Pâine prajita (like a savory and more egg-y version of French toast) and chamomile tea. // LUNCH**: Zeama (vegetable-based soup with noodles or potatoes) with cabbage, a piece of lamb, bread and butter, some pretzels, and chamomile tea. // DINNER**: “Paprika potatoes and chicken” (potatoes and chicken legs seasoned with paprika and cooked in a bag in the oven- one of my very favorite meals!), ice cream, and chamomile tea.
BREAKFAST**: 3 hard boiled eggs, a banana, and black tea. // LUNCH*: Grilled ham and cheese sandwich, pretzels, and chamomile tea. // DINNER**: Colţunaşi (meat-filled dumplings, a lot like ravioli) with butter and chamomile tea.
BREAKFAST**: Pâine prajita (like a savory and more egg-y version of French toast) and black tea. // LUNCH**: Fresh homemade bread and grape compot. // DINNER**: Bread, wine, and turkey tail (while visiting my host mom’s friend), and goose meat, grape compot, and chamomile tea later at home.
BREAKFAST**: Oatmeal and black tea. // LUNCH*: Tea and cookies at a break during school. Later at home, grilled cheese (with homemade bread) and grape compot. // DINNER**: Colţunaşi with butter, wine, and grape compot.
BREAKFAST*: Omelet with cheese. // LUNCH**: Macaroni with boiled milk, bread, wine, grape compot, and chamomile tea (I was very thirsty!). // DINNER**: Boiled potatoes cooked in a tomato-y sauce, an apple, and chamomile tea.
And that’s it! As you can probably tell, there isn’t a whole lot of variety, and it is pretty carb-heavy. I’m looking forward to the summer months, as then there are a lot more vegetables and fruits!