A note on sauces, Romania

When Pulp Fiction informed me that people in Amsterdam put mayonnaise on their fries, I was cooperatively grossed out. Mayo was an acceptable ingredient for way down the ingredients list, but it should be the sort of subtle culinary support staff that was neither seen nor heard from directly. Plopping it on fries sounded nasty.

I have since come around on that.

So I was delighted when my pork shoulder and fries came with a little ramekin of mayo in Brasov, Romania the other day. But the day before…wasn’t quite as familiar.

I was trying to grab an early lunch for a full afternoon of hiking, but the waiter informed me that before noon they only had pizza. Pizza it is! Then he stumped me.

Good place for hiking. With sufficient belly-battery

“Would you like sweet ketchup, or not sweet?”

Wait, ketchup? Ah, I thought, he must be using a less-than-optimal word for marinara tomato sauce. I like to try new things, but sweet marinara sounded cloying. “Um, no thank you, not sweet.”

“Not sweet, okay” he confirmed and off he went. But yes, when the pizza came, it had a sizable ramekin full of ketchup. By that point, other people had filtered in too and their pizzas were delivered with the same side, which people enthusiastically plunked onto slices by the spoonful.

You have to try new things, and while it wasn’t gross, exactly, it will take a lot more slices to convince me to bring the habit home. Now please pass the mayo, my fries are ready.

The pint of beer was included for free with every pizza. Even at 11:00 AM. Who am I to refuse local custom?