(RM) While little is generally known about Romanian cuisine in Luxembourg, local shoppers have no excuse for not trying the mouthwatering Romanian products on sale at ''La Băcănie''.
The only Romanian delicatessen shop in the Grand Duchy, ''La Băcănie'' does not only target the local Romanian expat community, but also aims to reach out to Luxembourgers and the international community willing to try out some Romanian cuisine.
What began as a small shop with some 150 products on sale in December 2012, five months later ''La Băcănie'' provides over 400 hundred food products, wines and sweets and around 40 processed meat products.
Popular dishes such as ''mici'', ''cozonac'', ''toba'' or ''zacusca'' are also on offer at the store.
Best of Romanian cuisine
When asked about the most popular products sold at the store, owner Daniela Trofin Melmi points out that Romanian wines and beer seem to attract the interest of the Luxembourgers who come to the store for the first time.
Meanwhile, for the Romanian community and those who know more about the country's cuisine, ''mici'', a kind of mince meat sausage, prove to be the top choice, followed shortly by sauerkraut and pasteurised roe, a type of caviar.
According to Daniela, Luxembourgers are generally open to trying new cuisines, and very often customers return to ''La Băcănie'' to explore some new Romanian products.
While around 85 percent of her customers come from Romania, Daniela confesses that ''serving a non-Romanian client represents a victory for me and for the store.''
A taste of home in Luxembourg
Daniela, who moved to Luxembourg in 2000, has started the business alongside her Luxembourg-born husband, following a long struggle of finding Romanian products while living abroad.
''Whenever I was travelling back from Romania, I always made sure that both my luggage and my car were packed full with traditional products I couldn't find in Luxembourg,'' she recalls.
Based on the idea that the local Romanian community might experience the same difficulty in finding core ingredients to cook Romanian dishes while away from home, it was three years ago that Daniela and her husband started seriously thinking about opening ''La Băcănie'', a name that translates into a little cosy shop where one can buy a bit of everything.
It didn't take long for the community to show interest in the store. Only three months after opening, Daniela was taken by surprise when a 300-piece delivery of traditional "Mărţişor" trinkets quickly sold out.
Expansion plans in sight
To bring the best of Romanian food to Luxembourg, Daniela works with food products suppliers from all over Romania, and receives deliveries up to three times a month.
With the Orthodox Easter (to take place on May 5) and Summer in sight, the range of products at ''La Băcănie'' is set to expand once more. Shoppers will soon be able to try some Romanian ''pastrama'', ''cozonac'' and other traditional products generally consumed to mark Easter celebrations.
Daniela is planning to also put on sale a number of home-grown fruits and vegetables delivered directly from Romania, with cucumbers, radish and onions soon to be on offer at ''La Băcănie''.
Set to continue expanding the range of products on offer, and to attract a wider group of customers, the owner of ''La Băcănie'' is hoping to also store Romanian crafts and artisanal products in the future.
''La Băcănie'' is located on 83 Rue de Hollerich, 1741, Luxembourg. Customers are entitled to free parking for one hour.
The shop is open:
- 10am to 6pm Tuesday to Saturday
- 10am to 1pm Sundays
- Closed on Mondays
You can contact the Romanian delicatessen shop by phone on 691 767 305 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about the full range of Romanian food products including Sibiu salami, various types of cheese, bacon and traditional sausages., visit the store's Facebook page.
''La Băcănie'' will soon have an official website with product information available in English, French and Romanian on www.labacanie.lu.