Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Romanian solution to a stuffy nose

Part of what I love about the ethnic-foodie-blogosphere is learning how much my native Romanian cuisine has in common with other traditions. In this case, a post over at Yulinka Cooks on horseradish made me realise that the Romanian word for the substance, hrean, comes from the Slavic languages, and is related to the Russian хрен. When I was growing up, we tended to have both white horseradish at home and the kind that's coloured a bright pink with beets. Not only did we eat it on meat, but my dad had another use for it as well. When I had a dry stuffy nose, he would tell me to open a jar, and breathe the sharp fumes in, one nostril at a time. There's nothing quite like it for clearing up the sinuses!

5 comments:

Julia (alias Yulinka Cooks) said...

irina--My beet hren wasn't very spicy, but the regular kind (white horseradish) really clears up the sinuses! I like it with carrot sticks, of all things.

irina said...

Same here! Sinus clearing was always done with the white horseradish, and really, with as big a jar of the stuff as possible!

Ambling Man said...

My grandfather would make the deadliest white horesradish. It was a fixture of all Friday and Holiday meals. One Seder we were getting ready to eat and my Uncle (he of the dry british wit) said - 'hey I think this Hazeret is off I think its gone flat'. Horrified at such a calamity I took the jar placed it to my nose and breathed in.... don't remember much of the rest of the evening and my sense of smell did eventually come back....

Clarice Fullington said...

Now, it made me remember what my friend's grandmother did when my friend had a clogged nose back when we were kids, and I think that's the same one! Maybe I should ask my friend how to make that horseradish relish, since it might come in handy someday.

irina said...

I love the stories! And yes, why spend money on pharmaceuticals, when a jar of powerful horseradish will do the trick. *And* you can put it on food too!