Mamaliga, the national dish of Romania, has long been beloved by all Romanians—including Jews. Aaron Lebedeff’s famous Yiddish song “Roumania, Roumania” specifically mentions the dish. Evidently, when a Jewish Romanian met someone who he or she thought was Jewish, they would say in Yiddish, “Es mamaliga licht in punem,” meaning: When you eat mamaliga, it shows in your face.
This porridge, made from cornmeal, is often served with sour cream, diced raw onions, and feta cheese. Dairy restaurants, like Ratner’s in New York, served it, especially at the forthcoming holiday of Shavuot.