We’re almost at the end of a week here in Romania and I don’t think I’ve posted one word yet about food. Are you hungry yet?
Thank you, thank you, my readers, for your excellent suggestions. I discovered that cozonac (Romanian sweet bread) is a holiday specialty. But that didn’t stop Silvia and her sister for finding it for me, though of course I should know it would be much better if they made it for me. I tell you, it was plenty good enough. I’m sure it’s supposed to be sliced politely, but everyone in the van was hungry, so you can see what we did to it.
Do I like the Romanian food I’ve had? Let’s just say, I think when I get home I’ll look into getting a book of good basic traditional Romanian cooking.
One thing we efficient Americans have had to learn here is that eating together is for time to enjoy each other’s company and conversation, not for rushing through the meal.
In America, usually we get impatient if we wait more than 15-20 minutes for our complete meals to arrive. Our main experience with courses is that the dessert “course” is served when everything else is done. Then we can rush off to whatever else we have to do. Or if we’re enjoying each other, we keep talking and enjoying our coffee or soft drinks until the waiter plops the bill on the table and quits refilling our drinks. That’s his hint that if we were gone, other paying customers could occupy the table. At least that’s the way it is at the sort of places we go.
Appropriately enough, our one meal at McDonald’s has been the only fast food here. Today’s main meal is the nicest one, so it’s an example of the extreme opposite of McDonald’s.
We were about 20 at one large table at a nice restaurant. Here’s how it went.
As soon as we were settled into our chairs, lemonade and bottles of water were offered around. . . and Coke Zero for the ones who wanted it (me). We took time to study the extensive menu. I gave up and asked Silvia what Romanian dish I should order. Then with so many of us, naturally it took quite a bit of time for the waiter to answer any questions and take all our orders.
Time passes. Then soup was served to all who had ordered soup.
Time passes. Then salad was served to all who had ordered salad.
Time passes. Main dishes are served.
Time passes. Orders are taken for dessert, which requires a lot of conversation. Who’s eating dessert? Who isn’t? What does the waiter recommend? What are favorites among those who know the dishes? I didn’t order, despite the luscious descriptions of what I’d be missing.
Time passes–45 minutes, maybe. Desserts are served and somehow there’s one for everyone at the table, even the ones who didn’t order. Johnny passes his to the next person. I cut mine in half and say, “Here’s your half.” But he stands firm. I don’t.
But look, here’s what I was thinking. I ate breakfast, but no lunch. It’s 6:00 now. So I’ll count dinner as lunch, and dessert as dinner. How’s that?
I’m glad to say I wasn’t timing each course, but we were there 3-1/2 – 4 hours, and had some really good conversation.
Don’t miss the giveaways for this trip:
- The Bucharest Giveaway
- The Geneva Giveaway
- The Hamburg Giveaway
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