Rugby World Cup 2015 is well underway. There’s  another big game coming up for the boys in green this weekend. Let’s hope it’s a cracker of a win!  To get us in the mood for the excitement ahead, we’ve done our own  Ireland versus Romania in food terms – and it’s surprising there are some striking similarities in the two cuisines. Pick your winners from the list below!

  • Romanians often start a feast with a platter of salamis and cheeses. We can do just the same with a grand variety of Irish farmhouse cheeses and home produced salamis from our members. Look to Ballinwilin Farmhouse for venison and boar salamis, or McCarthy’s Kanturk for north Cork pancetta. Add to that with any of our farmhouse cheeses listed here. Good accompaniments include crackers from Foods of Athenry or Ditty’s Oatcakes. You’re definitely onto a winner here. To be fair to the opponent, dress up your platter Romanian style with olives and strips of pickled red peppers or gherkins.
  • Pork is popular in Romania – as it is here in Ireland. Good free range pork makes brilliant slow cooked stew.  Cartofi cu carne de Porc is the Romanian name – basically it’s a mix of two favourite Irish ingredients –  pork and potatoes, spiced up with paprika and given some ooomph with tomatoes and stock. Easy to create at home and you are mixing two cultures in the process. A good free range pork like  Woodside Farm free range pork is a premium product perfect for this stew. Marrying Romanian cuisine with Irish ingredients – we think it’s a draw! 
  • The Romanian national dish contains spiced minced pork stuffed into cabbage leaves. We love our cabbage here in Ireland and this is a different way to serve it aside from our own national dish of bacon and cabbage. Whole cabbage leaves are blanched then filled with the spicy pork mince and some rice,  to make rolls or parcels, then baked in stock in the oven. Sounds good, but could it beat bacon and cabbage? The pundits are out on that one! 
  • For pudding, Romanians do their own version of apple pie. This is a spicy apple mix enclosed in layers of strudel dough. We are possibly biased but we think this Wexord Apple Tarte Tatin just edges a win in the Ireland v Romania dessert stakes. A  base of flaky puff pastry topped with caramelised apple pieces and caramel sauce – absolutely delicious!