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Romania - Food and Drink
Breakfast And Snacks
Breakfast in the country can be quite filling, and usually consists of omelettes, bread rolls, butter and jam, coffee and sausages. Common snacks eaten in Romania include covrigi, bread rings, pateuri and brioche. Street vendors usually serve popular grilled meats known as mititei or mici, which are made of grilled beef rissoles served with mustard.
Eating out in Romania is affordable, and many expats can afford to visit upmarket restaurants which serve a wide range of tasty dishes. A decent two-course meal with a glass of wine may cost between 15 and 18 USD. Many restaurants in Romania offer daily set menus consisting of two or three course meals and drinks for about 10 USD. These meals are usually offered Monday to Friday between noon and 6pm. While these meals may not be considered haute cuisine, they are definitely value for money. The coastal areas are full of resorts with self-service canteens that offer simple, affordable and delicious dishes.
Popular Dishes In Romania
Some of the most popular dishes in Romania are served during special occasions such as Easter or Christmas. Lent is the longest fasting period in the Orthodox calendar. Once Lent is over, Romanian people celebrate by preparing and eating special dishes such as Easter eggs, salads, lamb dishes like haggis and borsch, as well as sponge cake and a traditional Romanian cake known as Pasca.
During Christmas, Romanian people eat pork dishes including pomana porcului, which consists of pig meat fried in fat. Another popular dish is the salted pork rind or sorici, which is soft pork skin eaten raw or boiled with garlic. Christmas lunches in Romania are not complete without pork greaves. This pork dish is served as an aperitif, with lots of bread and steaming onions.
A popular Romanian traditional dish is sarmale cu mamaliguta, which is made of minced meat mixed with rice and herbs and rolled in cabbage leaves. This dish is usually taken with mamaliguta or mamaliga, a polenta dish made from boiled corn flour, hot pepper and sour cream.
Salads are popular dishes during christenings, funerals, anniversaries and Christian holidays. Most salads served in Romanian restaurants or eateries contain mayonnaise. Beef salad is one of the most popular. It is typically made of diced, boiled vegetables such as carrots, peas, parsnips, potatoes, peppers and cucumbers, served with beef. The vegetables and beef are mixed together with mayonnaise or mustard. Some restaurants serve a vegetarian version of this salad with no meat added. Adding grated onion to the salad makes it incredibly tasty.
You may also like Romanian grilled eggplant salad, which is tasty and easy to make. It becomes even nicer when the eggplants are grilled on a smoky barbecue. First, the eggplant is peeled and chopped, then it is mixed with onions, mayonnaise, smashed herbs and garlic.
Zacusca is a vegetarian dish that is traditionally prepared for autumn and stored in jars. It is usually served during Christmas and is delicious when cooked with eggplants and red peppers.
A must try is the Romanian fish borsch, prepared with water from the Danube River. This is an authentic dish popular with anglers in the Danube. The river water gives the fish a special flavour. The soup is even tastier when it is made from several different types of fish.
You may also enjoy the Romanian army’s special, popularly known as ciolan afumat cu fasole. This dish is made of pork knuckle, mixed with beans and served with pickles. This dish is a national symbol of identity and struggle, and is usually served on national holidays.
Tzuica and Palinka are the traditional alcoholic drinks of Romania. Tzuica is a spirit consisting of 40 percent alcohol and made by distilling plums. Palinka is mostly served in the northern regions of Romania and is made from a wide assortment of fruits. Palinka is a common feature during meals as it is believed to stimulate the appetite.
Tripe soup is the Romanian cure for hangovers. This dish is yellow and spicy, made from peppers and sour vinegar. It is recommended late at night or early in the morning after a night out partying.
Most restaurants in Romania serve a range of drinks including coffee, beer and soft drinks. Many Romanian people take their coffee black and sweet. However, you can ask for milk, or for coffee without sugar.
Beers served in Romanian restaurants are usually European-style lagers but with local names such as Silva, Ciuc, Timişoreana, and Ursus, with the latter considered by many to be the national beer of Romania. While it is possible to find mass produced brands such as Bergenbier and Eggenburger, brown ale is more popular with local people. In addition, there are an increasing number of craft beers in Romania, with Zaganu being one of the most popular, although you may find that these are not widely available. Beer is usually sold in bottles and draught beer can also be found in the country.
Romania produces some of the best wines in Europe. Some of the most popular wines in Romania include white Grasa from Cotnari, Tămâioasă, Fetească Neagră, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and white Muscat Ottonel.
Vegetarian Food Vegetarians will sadly find the culinary situation in Romania a little dull as most Romanian dishes are made with meat. Therefore, it is advisable for vegetarians to check all dishes carefully or ask if meals contain meat. However, there are a few vegetarian dishes served in the country, including ghiveci, ardei, or poached eggs with salads.
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