May 1st

Today is May 1st also known as International Worker's Day also known as the day of the mici (pronounced like peach but with an "m").

And while this post could be about the beginnings of this public holiday, specifically during the Romanian communist regime where there were state-organized parades to honor the workers (ahem, but more importantly to show "tribute and gratitude" to communist leaders), some were forced to participate in the parades and put on a smile...I'll write about what it means today.

And today, for a good number of people, it means a day off of work to spend barbecuing with friends and family somewhere green. Preferably near a creek.

I really don't want to turn each post into something food-related (last week was a bit about garlic sauce, mujdei) but like I said, today is the day of mici or mititei, meaning "little ones".

It sure doesn't sound like the manliest thing to grill based on its named, but boy are they good, and if you've been on a short-term mission here, you've definitely had them at the cabana.

They're THE Romanian sausage: a meat mixture of pork, beef and lamb seasoned with different kinds of spices (paprika, coriander, thyme, anise, possibly more garlic) but the secret ingredient is baking soda. That's what gives them their trademark texture and what makes everyone else who is not Romanian remark, "Wow, that's so interesting."

So if you don't happen to be in Romania for May the 1st, well, we'll be waiting all summer by the grill, no worries.

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