More Than Burgers

This cookbook was born in the kitchen and out of frustration.

So much American culture has been imported to Romania that it is easy to assume that most things an American might want can be found here. For the most part, that is true. And when it is not, whatever is missing can usually be ordered on the internet or delivered by friends and family coming back from the US.

But that is not always the case. How do you bring a warm pecan pie or tender pot roast over the Atlantic tucked in your luggage? Bagels get stale. Cans of pumpkin are heavy. A stuffed turkey is impossible. American bacon will turn bad. No, except for bottles of maple syrup and vanilla extract, there are very few things we ask an American visitor to deliver to us.

Instead, we resorted to doing it ourselves. Relying on our cooking and restaurant experience, and safely at home with the privacy to fail, we explored the store shelves and successfully created some of our missing favorite foods from the US right here. And after a few years, it occurred to us we had “imported” enough recipes to share them in a book.

In all, these recipes represent what would be considered typical, core, traditional, fabled, common, and sometimes derided, basic foods of America. We have not attempted to bring you clever variations with new tastes and ingenious ideas. Instead, we have endeavored to bring you the genuine flavors and typical preparations that would be familiar to Americans no matter where they live. (Some of these recipes do have a small bias toward the food of New York City, especially the pizza and some of the breakfasts. This is where most of our years were spent.)

More importantly, unlike many cookbooks available here, which are direct translations of the books from other countries, we have sought to ensure you know what ingredients to buy here and how to combine them so that the final food is the real taste of America.

(Written and compiled by my daughter Hannah and me, publication will hopefully be soon.)