Gypsy cuisine has been called “the little known soul food”. Gypsies have a rich and complicated identity and history, which is reflected in the delicious complexity of the food, and, like most things, it’s a lot better when you understand it. First, the word “Gypsy” is the term that gadjé (Rromanes for non-Romani people) have used to refer to Roma, the ethnic group originating in India around the eleventh century.
Gypsies divide food into two categories: “ordinary” and “auspicious” or “lucky” (baxtalo). Auspicious foods are believed to be particularly healthy for the body and soul, and these beliefs are likely rooted in Ayurveda, the traditional Hindu system of medicine that uses food, herbs, and yogic breathing to balance the body.