While visiting Romania it is helpful to keep in mind that the best and most authentic Romanian food is prepared at home. The closer your travels bring you to real people, the closer you will get to the real heart of the cuisine. Elegant restaurants and large hotels generally specialize in ‘international’ dishes. You are more likely to find the best and freshest food stuffs at farmers markets, and the best home cooking in small guesthouses, or through a local’s recommendation.

The Local Beverage
A meal in Romania is incomplete without a drink of the local spirit, tuica or palinca. A plum brandy usually enjoyed before a meal along with some appetizers. It varies in strength, dryness and smell according to the region. But if you attempt this drink beware it does have a kick to it! Romania is also home to some excellent wine and beer.

During your stay in Romania we will advise you which restaurants to visit.  As our preference is to look for small and good quality accommodation, the food at your hotel or pension, will mostly be authentic.

Romanian Wine : the preference  drink of the Gods
Discover the wines of the gods and find out why vines in Romania have been sought after for its richness for years!
Romanian wine culture has existed for almost 6000 years and dates back to history’s earliest inhabitants. It is argued to be one of the oldest in all of Europe. Legend says that the Tharacian god of wine was born just north of the Danube Delta. When the Romans occupied this area it was often referred to as Happy Dacia (Dacia Felix) because of the richness that the land provided for growing wine. Vineyards throughout Romania have survived the years and still produce these high quality wines today.
Due to its local soil and climate Romania attracted countries such as France, Germany, and Italy to invest in vineyards since the 19C. Because of this you will find a variety of different vines, such as Pinot noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Discover the wines of the Gods and find out why vines in this region have been sought after for its richness for years!
The Romanians have a reputation for suspect honesty. I believe that this is largely unfounded. You must be streetwise and careful, or some may try to take advantage. It may be force of habit—much of the population have to fight to eat . Naivety is not tolerated. So be alert. But don’t let this keep you away. The opportunities in this country right now are nearly infinite, and seldom you will encounter a people more determined to get it right this time after such a prolonged period of repression.

Shopping like a local:
With us you always have time for shopping in local stores, or, if you are not a shopper, use your precious time for other activities, instead of being led by the nose into tourist traps. The historic centers of town are filled with fascinating and unique little shops that are fun to browse through, and we will point you to those neighborhoods and set you loose. Your guide is not getting any commissions, but instead will help you find the best deals.

Some price- references:
Beer ( draught ½  l )……………………..0.5 €
Coke……………………………………….      0,4 €
Wine ( bottle )……………………………   4 – 10 €
Meal ( lunch )……….……………………    3 €
Soup………………………………………..      2 €
Dinner  ………………………………………10 €
Fuel………………………………………….  1,5 €
Cigarettes……………………………….… 2,5 €
Bread……………………………….….,..…0,25 €
Tuica (50ml)……………………..………….2,0 €
Whisky (50ml)……………………….……..3,0 €
As you notice, Romania is a cheap country for tourist, and you will not have to spend a lot during your visit.
But it is good to be aware that the average Romanian salary is between 150 and 250 € / month.
Romanians work 6 days/ week and mostly only have 2 weeks of holiday a year.
Romanian food: simple and so delicious!

Romanian food is your guide through Romanian traditional dishes you can eat in restaurants but also other traditional foods you can find especially at countryside.
One of the most common dishes is the mămăliga, a cornmeal mush and known as the poor man’s dish. Pork is widely used in Romanian cuisine; beef, lamb and fish dishes are also popular. For more than 2 millennia, wine has been the favorite drink among the Romanians. The country is the 9th biggest producer of wine in the world.
Then… what does it make Romanian food so special?  Back to history:  Romanian territories were occupied by Turks, Hungarians, Austrians, Poles, Russians.  Where in the world would you find such a mixture ?
At countryside people still use clay vessels and cast-iron kettle for cooking. Dishes prepared in this manner have a unique taste. And we still use vegetables and verdures untouched by last discoveries of genetics. They have the taste your grandma knows and you must be lucky to remember it.

That’s why it’s a pity to arrive in Romania, go to restaurant and eat pizza or something you are familiar with.
There is plenty of traditional food.  Romanian specialities are very healthy and tasty and natural.  Because at countryside agriculture is done like one century ago. No genetics alterations, no chemical fertilizer. Only clean green grass and spring water for animals

Romanian First Courses
The cold starters usually consist in a platter of cheese, olives and salami, or fresh vegetables. Another first course is a selection of cold cuts, perhaps including salami, ham, cured ham, pastrama or slanina.
The hot starters include sausages, frankfurters and cabanos, often fried. The most famous are mici or mititei – “little ones” – small spicy skinless rissoles made with a highly seasoned mixture of pork and

beef, served with garlic sauce and beer. Carnati de Plescoi are a fiery version of mutton sausage. The less sensitive can try creier pane or drob de miel, Romania’s version of haggis and traditional at Easter.
The Salads are also an important part in Romanian Cuisine, in winter pickles being most used, where in summer, salata de vinete is preferred.

The Romanian Soups come in three versions: supa, ciorba and bors. The second two are sour soups while a supa is a simple broth or cream soup. The ingredient used to give the ciorba and bors its taste, a liquid called also bors, is a mildly vinegary amber liquid obtained by fermenting wheat bran, corn flour, and a sprig of cherry tree, thyme and basil in small water vats. Even if the word derives from Ukrainian, the tradition of preparing bors goes back to ancient Moldavian times.
Ciorba is another mainstay of the Romanian cuisine, and comes often dressed with smantana and served with chilli peppers. Some of the favorites include ciorba de perisoare traditional at Christmas, ciorba taraneasca, ciorba de pui, ciorba de potroace and bors de miel a traditional Easter dish. Though the undisputed king is ciorba de burta, a light garlicky soup made of tripe.
Some of the time, soup leftovers are transformed into ghiveci or tocanafor the following day’s dinner.

Romanian main Courses and deserts
Sarmale, a heritage from the days of Ottoman rule, one of the most popular dishes, is a classic companion to mamaliga and smantana.

The Romanian stews include iahnie de fasole and tocana. Tocana de legume is a vegetable stew, while ghiveci is a Romanian ratatouille. Fried cuts of meat are also adored by Romanians, especially from pork and beef. Lamb is traditional at Easter while pork at Christmas. Another traditional gut busters are muschi ciobanesc, and muschi poiana.
The Ottoman rule also left its traces in pilaf de post, frigarui de porc, and chiftele. Parjoale are a larger, flatter, highly spiced type popular in Moldavia, served with garnishes. Chicken is also popular, most times spit-roasted whole over an open fire or roasted with garlic sauce. Two traditional chicken dishes are ciulama de pui and gaina umpluta. Moldavian recipes are mainly chicken-based. Some of the hunting dishes include potarnichi cu smantana and pulpa de caprioara la tava.
In the fish category, particularly carp, pike and perch are mostly used. In the Danube Delta, one should try frigarui de crap and saramura de peste. Seafood in Romania is considered rare, but Romanians do have a tradition of eating fish roe, especially salata de icre. Did you know? Desserts include baklava, clatite, inghetata, papanasi, placinta, prajitura, salata de fructe and strudel de mere.

Romanian Drinks
When it comes to beer, Romanians prefer a Pilsener-style lager. The Saxons brought their love of beer to Romania and the country’s oldest surviving brewery opened in Timisoara in 1718. It still produces Timisoreana, a moderately-regarded Pilsener. Even if in the recent years the Romanian market offers a multitude of international choices, a few small independent breweries still produce interesting beers. One of the most famous Romanian brands is Ursus, brewed in Cluj since 1878. Other beers worth trying are Silva Strong from Reghin, Valea Prahovei from Azuga, Ciuc Premium from Miercurea Ciuc and Bergenbier from Blaj, all crisp Pilsener –style lagers. Unpasteurized beer is still produced in Satu Mare, Azuga, Sibiu, Ramnicu Valcea and Iasi.

You’re unlikely to travel far without being offered tuica. Traditionally no meal starts without a glass. Another similar drink is palinca known as Horinca in Maramures and Jinars in Cluj Napoca region. Be wary, this drink will knock your socks off. To get the real feel you should try the home made ones, and not the store versions.

Romanians show their inventiveness when creating drinks such as caisata, visinata, lichior de nuci verzi, lichior de izma by infusing vodka or other spirits.

The complexity and quality of Romanian wines offer the biggest surprise to the visitors. Even if the communism damaged its image abroad, the fact is that Romania has produced wine since at least 7th century BC, and its climate is suited to almost any grape. Transylvania and the Banat supplied wine to the Habsburgs and other royal courts, while until the 1930’s Cotnari was one of Europe’s highest-prized dessert wines. At the moment is the world’s ninth-largest producer. Some of Romania’s best known wines are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. However, some of the finest are indigenous tongue twisters including Busuioaca de Bohotin, Tamaioasa Romaneasca and Grasa de Cotnari.

Thanks to Ottoman influences, a traditional home-made drink is serbet, commonly made from flower petals, fruit, nuts or vanilla. Another traditional soft drink is socata. With more than a third of Europe’s mineral and thermal springs, Romania produces hundreds of varieties of mineral water.

Coffee is traditional  Turkish, served black with sugar in small cups. Herbal teas are also quite easy to come by.

The Romanian Staples
The Romanian Bread is one of the vital staples, the recipes varying from region to region, the most common being the white bread, large and circular, with a thick crust and soft chewy middle. Special knotted loaves are baked for special occasions. In Transylvania, the local recipe has potatoes as one of the ingredients, this giving it a special flavor and making it appreciated and searched through all Romania.

Mamaliga is a word you should familiarize yourself with rather quickly. It is a yellow cornmeal mush, made through stirring the cornmeal in boiled water with salt, in a special pot called ceaun, resembling a very thick Italian polenta. Traditionally it is served as a meal on its own, with nothing more than a sprinkling of branza. Regardless of its peasant origins, you will find it on the menu of almost all restaurants.
If the mamaliga served in restaurants can be bland and very filling, the home-made version served warm with fresh smantana ranks up as one of the world’s best comfort foods. Another delicious variation is called bulz – mamaliga layered with cheese and baked in the oven with butter.