Tradition & Cookery
Romanians are friendly and open, and the foreigners are warmly welcomed. The discussions with the tourists are habitual for the Romanians, who will always find a communicational path, even if they don’t know the language.
The elders particularly appreciate the traditional politeness, being used to be addressed to with Madam/ Sir, when using the name of a person, whom you just met.
The hand shaking is the most used politeness form. When a man is introduced to a woman, he would most likely kiss her hand, avoiding her eyes.
If someone refuses what a host offers something to eat or drink, this gesture is considered as a polite refusal, which really means “ yes”. If you really want to refuse the offer, find a polite excuse and speak firmly or ask for a replacement.
In Romania, as in many other Latin countries life unfolds in a relaxing peace. The casual European courtesy must be taken care of at social occasions. Although the casual clothing is suited in most of the cases, wearing a suit and a tie (or the equivalent for the ladies) is important in a business meeting. The meetings programming is necessary and punctuality is being expected.
The main ingredients used by the Romanian chefs are: the pork, cow and lamb, fish, vegetables, milk and diary and fruits.
A Romanian traditional meal may include, appetizer, soup, fish, the main course (stew , vegetable hotchpotch, fork-meat rolls in cabbage or vine leaves, grilled minced meat balls, which can be assorted with different pickles), desert, drinks (plum brandy, and excellent wine sorts, exported all around the world).
The restaurants from the smaller towns are mainly socializing places, where you can go and have something to drink and have a chat; still in the last few years, there can be seen a rising of the Romanians interest to have meals in town, as the medium class rises. This behavior is determined by the fact that , traditionally, the Romanian women prepare the daily meals. So, the cookery prepared at home is something special, so if you are invited for a lunch or a dinner in a Romanian family, don’t waste this opportunity.
The prices are listed on the restaurants menus and include all the taxes and services. Still, some restaurants can list prices for 50 or 100 grams, while you are being served with 250 grams, for example. If you are not certain about the menu, check it with the waiter and assure yourself that it is correct what you ordered (course, quantity, price).
Generally, each course (except the bread, but there are exceptions) is ordered and paid for individually.
In restaurants, an usual meal may cost between 6 and 10 Euro, but there are places where you can have an excellent meal with only 3 euro, but also expensive restaurants, where you can spend over 250 euro.