A Romanian national dish is “threatened” by an EU rule: “mititei”, also known in other Balkan countries (cevapcici, in Serbia and others in Greece or Turkey) should not contain, in the future, the food additive E 500 or sodium bicarbonate, used now for this kind of food, Romanian TV Antena 3 reported.
This is the most sold meat product in Romania, but now Romanians have to change their traditional recipe if they want to keep “mititei”, according to the TV report.
The dish is so popular in Romania, that historians have studied its story. According to professor Calin Felezeu, a historian, “mititel” was the name of the special ammunition (long shell) used by the Romanian canons during the War for Independence, in 1877. But when celebrating the victory against Turkish Empire in a Bucharest restaurant, a Romanian politician saw the shape of the ammunition looked like that of the traditional meat dish, so he asked the waiter to bring him “mititei” (shells); it looked like a joke, but the name was kept, Felezeu said, according to gazetaromaneasca.ro.
It’s not the first time when the EU rules seem to be in conflict with local traditions in Romania. For instance, EU rule stated the pigs should not be slaughtered (traditional Romanian rithual before Christmas), but the Romanian officials declared they did not succeed to stop the Romanian villagers to do the rithual.
Also a local spirit, called “tuica” (tzuica) was also in a middle of a debate in the Romanian Parliament, several years ago. While EU wanted to impose taxes to villagers producing more than 50 liters of the “tuica” “for personal use”, the MPs allowed villagers to produce 250 liters without paying taxes.