From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mititei on a grill.
Alternative namesMititei or mici
CourseMain course
Region or stateRomania
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsLamb, pork, beef, coriander, onion, garlic, black pepper, thyme, sodium bicarbonate

Mititei (Romanian pronunciation: [mitiˈtej]) or mici (Romanian pronunciation: [mit͡ʃʲ]; both Romanian words meaning "little ones", "small ones") is a dish from Romanian cuisine, consisting of grilled ground meat rolls made from a mixture of beef and lamb and pork, with spices such as garlic, black pepper, thyme, coriander, anise, savory, and sometimes a touch of paprika. Sodium bicarbonate and broth or water are also added to the mixture. It is similar to ćevapi and other ground meat-based dishes throughout the Balkans and the Middle East.

It is often served with french fries, mustard, and murături (pickled vegetables).


A popular story claims that 'mici' or 'mititei' were invented in the late 14th century and that they are originating from the Ottoman Empire.[1]

Throughout the years, the recipe lost some of the original ingredients, such as caraway seeds and allspice, and began being made with pork, rather than beef and lamb.[2][3][4] Sodium bicarbonate, a raising agent, is also commonly added to the modern Romanian recipe, which improves both the flavor and the texture.[5]

Cultural and economic significance[edit]

Mici are very popular all across Romania, with an estimated 440 million mici consumed each year in Romania. They are eaten in homes, restaurants and pubs, but are probably most associated with outdoor grilling. As many Romanians celebrate International Workers' Day (1 May) by going to barbecues and picnics, mici have become strongly associated with the holiday in recent years, 30 million mititei being eaten in Romania on the first day of May in 2019.[6] Mici are sometimes called the "national dish of Romania" in the media, despite lacking any such official designation.

In 2018, between 5% and 10% of all the mici produced in Romania were exported, mainly to countries with large Romanian diasporas, such as Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Reţeta originală de mici – cum se făceau mititeii acum 100 de ani!". Libertatea. 3 June 2019. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  2. ^ Corespondenţi „Adevărul” (14 June 2013). "Povestea micului românesc: cum a ajuns o greşeală culinară dezbatere europeană. Unde se găsesc cei mai buni mici din ţară". Adevărul. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  3. ^ Minea, Sorin (14 May 2013). "Scandalul micilor: Rețeta e a noastră sau provine din Turcia?". DC News. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  4. ^ Lazăr, Simona (29 April 2017). "Mititei (rețeta din 1872 – varianta "nașului" N.T. Orășanu)". Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  5. ^ Pantazi, Raluca (7 May 2013). "Marea dezbatere despre micul romanesc: cu bicarbonat sau fara. Ce spun oficialii europeni, guvernul si producatorii romani". Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Minivacanța de 1 Mai - românii vor pune pe grătar 30 de milioane de mici / Sunt preferați micii din carne de porc şi vită". 29 April 2019. Retrieved 2 August 2019.