From the first best-seller cooking book (1871) to the last General National Recipes book (1982) and present – nutritional evolution or decline?

3:15 pm - 4:45 pm, Hall 3

Ciorba – a Romanian identity preparation. A radiography of culinary techniques and consequences on nutritional valences in over 150 years since the first recipes.

Dr. Gabriela Berechet – culinary expert


Objectively, people do not only feed on proteins, triglycerides, carbohydrates, but also on the symbols, rituals, traditions and feelings given by food. Man does not choose food only according to physiological requirements and perceptual and cognitive mechanisms, but also based on cultural and social representations, which leads to additional constraints on what cannot be eaten, what is valued and what is unpleasant (Fischler, 1990). Sociological approaches to assessing the transformation of society due to food-market change are important, and the negative impact of these changes on nutritional status can be brought about by changes in the technology of preparation or substitution of ingredients, while preserving sensory characteristics and improving nutritional values.

The paper aims to address the effect of cooking technologies on nutritional valences by reviewing the recipes for the preparation of a Romanian identity preparation – ciorba – in the 150 years since the first collections of recipes (cookbooks, recipe) appeared.


According to data from an IRES study (2018), 42% of the 1160 interviewed people prefer Romanian food, and 25% of them consider that the soup represents the preparation with both emotional and nutritional load. The recipe evaluation methodology aims to demonstrate that household cooking techniques emphasize the sensory properties of soups, while those in food establishments on their nutritional characteristics. Recipes from 1871 will be evaluated to date with an emphasis on working techniques that can improve the nutritional value of symbolic preparations for Romanians: soup.