As you get to know Romanian people better, you will see that they are rather fond of eating and wish to honour their guests with generous and delicious meals. Romanian gastronomy has survived through the centuries due to its robust and simple structure. Over time it has been influenced by oriental and Slavonic cookery. Peasant farms produce all of the vegetables needed for cooking. In certain regions, the local people use corn to prepare mamaliga, a polenta which often replaces bread. One traditional dish is called “bulz” and is prepared with mamaliga, cheese and cream. In Transylvania vegetable soup with cream is popular though the bean soup tends to be the most appreciated. In Moldavia and Walachia soups are given a sour flavour through the addition of bors (borsht), a sour liquid prepared in ceramic bowls that increases one’s appetite. In Bucovina, beet bors with cream is typical whereas in the Delta they serve fish bors prepared with several types of fish and spices.
One can find the traditional dish called “sarmale” in any part of the country. Sarmale are prepared with mincemea mixed with rice that is rolled in cabbage, grape, or lime leaves, giving them a very refined taste. They also can be prepared more simply where the meat stuffing is replaced by rice, muchrooms, nuts, and carrots. Cheese can be found in various varieties and cream is generously used in a lot of dishes. Of all the varieties of Romanian cheese the most unique and appreciated is “telemea”, a cheese that is specific to the Balkan region.
Oriental influences are more visible in Dobrogea and Walachia, where people eat meat balls and “mititei”, balsa sausage-like roll of spiced minced meat.
Traditionally Christmas is celebrated with the preparation of pork dishes and Easter with lamb dishes. Romanians love sweets, which is reflected in the large variety of pastry products, the most popular of which is “cozonac” which is a traditional cake. “Sarailie”, made from honey, nuts and pastry is exemplary of the oriental influence in Romanian desserts. Since Romanian’s topography is extremely varied, many vineyards can be found along many hill sides and a large variety of wines can be found.