Angela Jianu

Angela Jianu, "Polenta or Mămăligă? British Perceptions of a South-East European Dish"

in Petits Propos Culinaires no 114, June 2019: 
Queen Marie of Romania, a grand-daughter of Queen Victoria, was not technically a traveller to the Romanian lands. As consort to the Romanian monarch, she became a much-loved royal and earned praise for her loyalty to her adoptive country and its people. For her, cornmeal gruel had affective, symbolic connotations. As German troops occupied the capital city Bucharest in the summer of 1918, the Queen and one of her daughters, Ileana, found refuge at their countryside residence in a Moldavian village. There, the popular Queen was surrounded by respectful and eager-to-please villagers, her ‘humble friends’. On their last day there, they were served polenta with broad bean borscht in a modest peasant woman’s house. The royal entourage sat down and partook of what the Queen in her memoirs calls a ‘Liebesmahl ’. In a text with few references to food, this comment stands out for its implicit understanding of food-sharing as transcending class and politics to build communities of emotion. 

To purchase the article or a copy of PPC please visit the journal webpage at :    PROSPECT BOOKS 

Prospect Books is a publisher of books about cookery, food history and the ethnology of food.

An international, edited volume on the history of Balkan, Ottoman and South-East European culinary traditions was published by Brill (Leiden) in 2018:


Economies and Cultures of Food in Ottoman and Danubian Europe, c. 1500-1900

Eds. Angela Jianu and Violeta Barbu

Publication Date: 5 June 2018 (available in print and electronically)

ISBN: 978-90-04-36754-8


List price: €138 / $166
ISBN:  978-90-04-36754-8
Language: English
Balkan Studies Library, 23

The Last Supper. The Church of Suceviţa Monastery, 16th c. 

Photo: © Petru Palamar 2017

        For further details follow this link to the publishers' website:

BRILL Earthly Delights 

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