The month of May in Romania means the start of the barbecue season. Traditionally on 1st of May for years people have been going out of the cities and celebrated the International Day of Workers by having a hearty barbecue with their friends. Of course, the traditional “mic”(minced meat roll made out of pork meat) is always served and it always present.
While we knew Romanians love “mici” and love barbecue we never knew that they are such big consumers. According to the Romanian Meat Association, Romanians eat between 20,000-25,000 tons of mici every year. On 1st of May this year 1,500 tons of mici were eaten. This means 30-35 millions of mici. Annually, Romanians eat 440 millions mici. This means one Romanian eats around 40 mici per year, however because traditionally everyone eats mici on May 1st, Romanians eat mici on this day as much as for a month.
As well, Romanians abroad love to eat them and around 5-10 % of mici travel to Spain and Italy, where the largest communities of Romanians live(3.325.825 of Romanians live abroad, 1.1 million in Italy and 913.405 in Spain).
The Romanian Meat Association is currently working on a European protection of the traditional Romanian mic.
Dana Tanse, the executive director of the Association said that several meat products that are considered traditional have been identified and the fact that they are traditional can be demonstrated through 30 year old recipes. The meat products are the “mici”, cabanos sausages, haiduc cutlet and several other salamis.
Romania has other traditional products that are protected, such as Topoloveni jam, Sibiu salami, smoked Novac from Barsei country and Ibanesti telemea cheese.