“I am such a huge admirer of Irina Georgescu in general, and of this extraordinarily impressive and important book in particular. A must-have, not just for enquiring bakers but, crucially, for all those interested in the context and evolution of culinary culture.” – Nigella Lawson
Eastern European Baking and Desserts from Romania and Beyond
Tava means tray in Romanian; a metaphor for how a whole culinary landscape is presented to the reader. Sharing the story of the dishes that have come to represent the identity of different cultural communities across the country, Tava is a baking book that celebrates centuries of diversity and overlapping cultures that form today’s cuisine in Romania.
“A joy and an education. Irina Georgescu has disentangled the strands woven into Romanian cooking and identity and she has done so deliciously, through glorious cakes, pies, strudels and doughnuts. Cook, eat, learn.” – Diana Henry
Where to order
Please consider supporting your local, independent book shops and order through them. Other retailers are listed here:
In Canada, Indigo.
In Australia, Booktopia.
In Romania, Librăriile Cărturești.
This book is full to the brim with baking recipes that I hope you’ll love as much as we do in Romania. And boy how we love to bake!
There are chapters with plăcinte pies and pastries like strudels, or cookies like coffee and walnut pricomigdale or paleuri sandwiched with rum chocolate ganache. There are griddled and fried breads, doughnuts filled with curd cheese, honey soaked brioche, noodles in vanilla soup, fruit fritters, summer rice pudding and sunflower seed halva
‘Romania is not yet well known as a gastronomic destination, but Irina Georgescu’s TAVA is set to change that. This delightful and unpretentious book tells the story of her culture through comforting food memories and delicious recipes for baking and desserts.’ Richard Bertinet
A culinary identity
You will find Armenian pakhlava, Saxon plum pies, Swabian poppyseed crescents, Jewish fritters, and Hungarian langoși alongside plăcinte pies, alivenci corn cake, strudels and fruit dumplings.
“‘Irina Georgescu’s Tava is so accomplished in ambrosial gumption, the words exploding in my head are which should I try first. I love the clarity of sun-filled photography and pretty-pastry, and the unexpected layers beneath of ‘…opium with sugar and spices’, walnuts instead of flour, noodles, rum, history, politics, Hungary v. Romania… Belle Epoque in Bucharest. I conclude there are no empty calories where Georgescu’s presentation of Romanian & Eastern European confectionery is concerned. Everything is invested with allure and cleverness. Such a beautiful book.’ – Yemisi Aribisala
Tava is a baking book with a history angle and also a travel book, since I wanted to show you places in Romania that you can visit, people you can meet, and food you can eat.
“A rare glimpse into a rich and diverse baking culture, this beautiful book is packed full of fascinating stories and recipes I can’t wait to taste” – Felicity Cloake
‘What a transporting cookbook Tava is! Here are tempting recipes for Romanian cakes, pastries, biscuits and other treats made using delightful ingredients such as rose petals, chestnuts, walnuts, sour cherries and poppy seeds. Importantly – and evocatively – Irina Georgescu sets the rich tapestry of Romanian baking in a historic and social context, giving readers an insight into what has shaped and influenced Romanian cuisine. ‘ – Jenny Linford
‘I love Irina Georgescu’s writing. Carpathia was one of my favourite books of 2020 and Tava is equally exciting: a celebration of Romanian baking that is full of a sense of light and life. Matt Russell’s photography is gorgeous. The recipes set me dreaming of strudels and poppy seed crescents and I can’t wait to start baking from it’. – Bee Wilson
‘Like all the best cookbooks, Tava is as interested in history and culture of Romania, as it is in all things sweet and baked. Enlightening, evocative and irresistible.’ – Tom Parker Bowles
Cooking pastrami lamb with farmhouse potatoes on the BBC1 Saturday Kitchen show. https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m001phcq/saturday-kitchen-05082023?page=1
Tava James Beard Award
I'm thrilled to see these griddle breads from Transylvania, placinte pe lespede, in the prestigious newsletter Eat Voraciously published by The Washington Post. The recipe is from my book 'Tava, Eastern European Baking and Desserts from Romania and Beyond' Link here...