EURO 2016 HOTJOINT EAT-OFF: FRANCE V ROMANIA
Representing France: Casse Croute, Bermondsey Street
Representing Romania: Crystals of London, Park Royal
Is this a fair fight? Maybe not. Romanian food is a pluralistic thing influenced down the years by neighbours and occupiers. The food reflects the country’s largely agricultural heritage.
Crystals of London, the capital’s preeminent Romanian restaurant recommends a traditionally starter of sour soup, ciorba. They say its sourness derives from “vinegar, lemon or fermented bran extract”.
It sounds unusual to western European palates, particularly when used in the popular ciorba de burta, a tripe soup. Grilled vegetables and big salads also form part of the offering.
Turkish, Hungarian, Germanic and Slavic influences abound, with a lot of pork, schnitzels, creamy sauces and polenta playing a part. The national dish is sarmale, pickled cabbage rolls stuffed with pork mincemeat and rice.
French cuisine, well, we guess you know about that one. Casse Croute is a little friendly eatery that serves French classics in a very smart way in fashionable Bermondsey Street and jas connections to Jose Pizarro.
Romania: The Crystal salad: grilled halloumi, bacon and chicken breast, lettuce, peppers, onion, cherry tomatoes.
France: Veal kidneys in a Madeira sauce
Romania: Pork collar in a mushroom cream sauce
France: Fillet of daurade (sea bream) with ratatouille
Romania: Cheese tarts with blueberry confiture
France: Tartes fine aux pommes (apple pie with fine sliced caramelized apples)
Well, this was always a David v Goliath affair, and for HotJoint
the French edge it, but the real decision is up to you!
(Actual result France 2 Romania 1)