|Place of origin||Romania|
|Main ingredients||Flour, water, poppy seeds or sesame seeds or large salt grains|
Covrigi are Romanian baked goods similar to pretzels. They consist of salted bread topped with poppy seeds, sesame seeds or large salt grains. They do not usually contain any added sweeteners such as sugar.
Covrigi is the plural form of the Romanian word covrig. The word is a loanword from Bulgarian kovrig. Cognate words are found in other Slavic languages, e.g. Russian kovriga (коврига) meaning "round bread" or korovai. The Old East Slavic kovriga is mentioned in the Primary Chronicle under year 1074. Its ultimate etymological origin is uncertain.
Covrigi are a popular snack food in urban areas of Romania and also as a holiday gift in rural areas. The city of Buzău is known in Romania for its covrigi.
Although legend has it that covrigi were introduced by Greek merchants to Buzău in the 19th century to increase consumption of their wine, their similarity to German pretzels and to sfințișori, another Romanian pastry, suggest a much earlier origin.
Notes and references
- "Definition of covrig" (in Romanian). DEX on line.
- Max Vasmer (1953–1958). Russisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (in German). Heidelberg: Winter. "Коврига". Этимологический словарь русского языка. Russian translation by Oleg Trubachyov. Moscow: Progress. 1964–1973.
- The Russian Primary Chronicle, Laurentian Text (PDF). Translated and edited by Samuel Hazzard Cross and Olgerd P. Sherbowitz-Wetzor. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Mediaeval Academy of America. 1953. p. 157. Kovrizhki (diminutive of plural kovrigi) is translated as "loaves of bread" in this edition.
- "Jos palaria in fata covrigarilor din Buzau!". pro TV.