Every year on March 9, Romanian and Moldovan Christians celebrate the Forty Martyrs of Sevastia, a traditional holiday that includes a feast. Figure-8–shaped dough representing the human figure (i.e. the martyrs) is either baked and smeared with honey and walnuts or made as a sort of cinnamon-topped “snickerdoodle soup” called mucenici muntenesti (recipe below). Today you can pick up the latter type of mucenici dough at our beloved Parrot Coffee. The nice woman behind the counter explained the recipe: boil, add honey, nuts, cinnamon if you like. “What kind of nuts? Pistachio?” I guessed. She motioned toward an unmarked bag of nuts. “These. Wol-nut.”
- Dried mucenici
- 5 oz. sugar or honey
- Lemon zest
- Pinch of salt
- Rum extract
- Vanilla extract
- Crushed walnuts
Boil water with sugar/honey, salt, extracts, and lemon zest. Add mucenici and cook for 30 minutes. They will float to the surface. Let cool to room temperature, then stir in the crushed nuts (toasting would be a nice touch, we think), ladle into bowls, and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Are you eating mucenici today? Send us a pic and we’ll post it here!
How much water is needed for a bag like that?
Most recipes we’ve seen are pretty freeform/made to taste, but since it’s a thick soup, just be sure not to add *too much* water. We suggest starting with 3 cups of water for every cup of dried mucenici. We’ll update again when we have a more definitive answer!