Although there are some regional differences between the provinces,
there is a definite national cooking tradition.
Dishes include ciorba de perisoare
(soup with meatballs), ciorba tãrãneascã
(vegetable soup with meat and rice balls served with sour cream),
lamb bors, giblet soup and a variety of fish soups. The Romanians
do extremely well in full-bodied soups, some of the best
being cream of mushroom, chicken, beef, vegetable and bean soup.
Sour cream or eggs are also added to soups. Mamaliga (a staple of
mashed cornmeal) is served in various ways.
Other national specialities include ghiveci
(over 20 vegetables cooked in oil and served cold), tocana
(pork, beef or mutton stew seasoned with onions and served with
mamaliga), Moldavian parjoale (flat meat patties,
highly spiced and served with garnishes), sarmale
(pork balls in cabbage leaves), mititei (a variety
of highly-seasoned charcoal-grilled meat) and patricieni
(charcoal-grilled sausages similar to Frankfurters). Fish
dishes include nisetru la gratar (grilled
Black Sea sturgeon), scrumbii la gratar (grilled
herring)and raci (crayfish).
include placinte cu poale in briu (rolled cheese
pies), Moldavian cozonac (brioche)
and pasca (a sweet cheesecake). Pancakes served
with jam and doughnuts topped with sour cream or jam are also popular
Breakfasts almost always include eggs, either soft-boiled, hard-boiled,
fried or scrambled. Omelettes, filled with cheese, ham or mushrooms,
are also frequently served. Vegetarians may have difficulties,
as most local specialities are meat-based. Although there are inexpensive
self-service snack bars, table service is the norm.
traditional drink with entrées is tuicã (plum brandy)
which varies in strength, dryness and smell according to locality.
Tuicã de Bihor is the strongest and generally known
as palinca. Romanian wines have won international
prizes and include cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, riesling,
pinot gris and chardonnay from the Murfatlar vineyards. Grasa
and feteasa from Moldavia’s Cotnari vineyards are also recommended.
Many Romanian wines are taken with soda water and hot wine
is also popular during winter. Romanian beers are outstanding. Romanian
sparkling wines, or methode champagnoise, are very good and of superb
value. Glühwein (mulled wine) is
another popular Romanian drink. There are no licensing
hours, but the legal age for drinking in a bar is 18.
has a growing number of discotheques and nightclubs
with entertainment and live dancing. Restaurants at most major hotels
double as nightclubs and there are also several Parisian-style cafes.
Two casinos operate in the Calea Victoriei. Opera
is performed at the Romanian Opera House
and the Romanian Athenaeum has two symphony orchestras.
Folk entertainment is performed
at the Rapsodia Romana Artistic Ensemble Hall and
there are numerous theatres.
Special purchases include embroideries, pottery, porcelain, silverware,
carpets, fabrics, wool jumpers, metal, woodcarvings, rugs, leather
goods, glass paintings and silk dresses.
hours: Monday-Saturday 0600-2100 for small local shops,
while larger stores and department stores open earlier and close
later. Some shops open Sunday 0600-1200, although these vary according
Handshaking is the most ordinary form of greeting, but it is customary
for men to kiss a woman’s hand when being introduced. Visitors
should follow normal European courtesies on social occasions. Dress
tends to be rather conservative but casual wear is suitable. Beachwear
should not be worn away from the beach or poolside. Smoking is prohibited
on public transport, in cinemas and theatres. Many Romanians are
smokers and gifts of Western cigarettes are greatly appreciated.
Other well-appreciated gifts include toiletries and Western clothing.
Military installations should not be photographed. Some tourist
attractions require visitors to pay a fee of approximately Lei2000
for taking photographs.
A 5-10% service tip is customary in restaurants.
Porters, chambermaids and taxi drivers expect tips.