More About Moldova

Originally part of Romania, Moldova was incorporated into the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. Moldova declared independence in 1991, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Political factors have contributed to economic instability, and Moldova is today considered to be Europe’s most financially poor country.

Moldova is located in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east and south.

Moldova is slightly larger than Maryland.

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Estimated population as of July 2016

The largest city is Moldova’s capital, Chișinău, with an estimated population of 723,500. The second-largest city is Tiraspol, with an estimated population of 148,900.

There are approximately 1.5 million housing units in Moldova, but most were built before 1980 and have not been maintained. About 71% of homes do not have an indoor bathroom and about 62% use wells as their primary source of water. Children are particularly susceptible to homelessness.

Percentage of people 15 and older who can read and write

The official language is Moldovan, which is the language of slightly less than 60% of the population. Other spoken languages include Romanian, Russian, and Ukrainian.

Recipe: Sarmale (Cabbage Rolls)

Ingredients:

2 to 3 lbs ground pork
½ cup long grain white rice
1-2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 bunch of parsley, chopped
1 bunch of dill, chopped
2 T vegetable oil
33 ounces tomato juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 large cabbage
15 slices of bacon

Large saute pan
Mixing bowl
Stock pot

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Heat oil in a large saute pan.
  3. Chop the onions and fry them in the oil until tender (5-10 minutes).
  4. Add the uncooked rice and saute for another minute.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, add onion and rice mixture to ground pork.
  6. Add salt, pepper, dill and parsley and mix well with your hands.
  7. To assemble the rolls, remove all the cabbage leaves and cut each leaf in half.
  8. Fill each half leaf with a heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture, and roll up the leaf.
  9. As you make each roll, place it in the stock pot.
  10. When all of the leaves have been stuffed, rolled and placed in the pot, pour the tomato juice over the rolls. The juice should cover the rolls completely. If it doesn’t, add water until it does.
  11. Cover the stock pot with aluminum foil and bake for 2 hours.
  12. Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the foil and put the pot back in the oven for another 2 hours.
  13. Serve the rolls hot with sour cream on top.