Last updated
Type Pastry
Course Dessert
Region or state Romania, Moldova, Ukraine
Main ingredientssoft cheese or apples
Variations Placenta

Plăcintă [1] (Romanian pronunciation:  [pləˈtʃintə] ) is a Romanian, Moldovan and Ukrainian traditional pastry resembling a thin, small round or square-shaped cake, usually filled with apples or a soft cheese such as Urdă.



The word plăcintă comes from Latin placenta, which means "cake", [2] from the Greek πλακοῦς plakoûs, πλακουντ- plakount- "flat cake". [3]


A Greek placinta-maker in Bucharest in 1880 Bucharest, Greek pie-maker, 1880.jpg
A Greek plăcintă-maker in Bucharest in 1880

As shown by the etymology of the word, the plăcintă has its origins in Ancient Rome, and dates from when Romania was a part of the Roman Empire, see Placenta cake.[ citation needed ]

Ancient Greek bakers made their bread with olive oil, herbs, and cheese. The secret of making cakes was given to the Romans during the invasion. At first there were only two varieties of cakes, called the libum and the placenta. The libum was a small cake, used as an offering to the gods. [4] As for the placenta, the Romans developed the recipe as a cake made of fine flour covered with cheese, honey, and fragrant bay leaves. [5] Ancient Roman bakers customarily prepared a large placenta which was cut into squares to be offered for sale. [6] This is the way that Romanians continue to prepare their plăcintă.

Traditional varieties of plăcintă

Placinta with cheese and raisins Placinta cu branza.jpg
Plăcintă with cheese and raisins
Placinta stall in the market in Hodod, Romania Placinta stallet.jpg
Plăcintă stall in the market in Hodod, Romania

See also

Related Research Articles

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Placenta cake

Placenta cake is a dish from ancient Greece and Rome consisting of many dough layers interspersed with a mixture of cheese and honey and flavored with bay leaves, baked and then covered in honey. The dessert is mentioned in classical texts such as the Greek poems of Archestratos and Antiphanes, as well as the De agri cultura of Cato the Elder.


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Palatschinke is a thin crêpe-like variety of pancake of Greco-Roman origin. While the dessert is most common in South and West Slavic countries, it is also generally known in other parts of Central and Eastern Europe. Names of the dish include Palaçinka (Albanian), Palatschinke, palačinka, palacinka (Slovak), palačinka (Czech), палачинка, naleśnik (Polish), clătite (Romanian), palacinta or palacinca (Italian) and palacsinta (Hungarian).


  1. "Definition of plăcintă" (in Romanian). DEX on line.
  2. "Dictionnaire Gaffiot latin-français" (in French).
  3. "Placenta | Definition of Placenta by Oxford Dictionary on". Oxford.
  4. "Istoria cozonacului" (in Romanian). Silvana Patrascanu.
  5. "Mamma pizza" (in French). Le Monde.
  6. "Description du numéro Arkéo junior n° 31" (in French).