Typical Aspects of the Traditional Food Behavior Within the Romanian Rural Environment

Typical Aspects of the Traditional Food Behavior Within the Romanian Rural Environment

Puiu Nistoreanu (The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania), Bogdan Gabriel Nistoreanu (The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania) and Liliana Nicodim (University Ovidius Constanta, Romania)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1423-8.ch014
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The Romanians' food behavior has certain peculiarities specific to the various geographical areas in which the Romanian society has developed. An analysis of the traditional diet is—up to this date—modest. But taking into account the very varied geographic conditions, the existing resources, sometimes abundant, sometimes modest, of the troubled history of the Romanian people, it is easy to understand how the way of life and the culinary habits in Romania were shaped throughout history. This chapter explores typical aspects of traditional food behavior in rural Romania.
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1. The Culinary Arts: The Art of Preparing Food

From the many definitions of gastronomy, the authors prefer, in report to the subject under discussion, the one of the online dictionary: The art of cooking good food or appreciating them at their real value, although another definition reminded us that: gastronomíe f. (gastronomía, d. gaster, belly, and nómos, law) = Excessive enjoyment of food [!] good and selected, because in terms of traditional Romanian cuisine these elements are unanimously accepted (*** DEX, 2019).

The word “culinary” is defined as something linked or related, with cooking and cuisine. The English have a very useful word that in Romanian does not exist “culinarian”, that is, a person who works in the field of culinary art. According to the encyclopedias we had access to, it seems that the first study dedicated to gastronomy is “The Physiology of Taste” by Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, which appeared at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Unlike traditional cooking books, he studied the relationship between the senses and the food, treating the state of well-being happening after a quality meal as a scientific phenomenon (Brillat-Savarin, 1982).

The Romanian gastronomic domain includes a multitude of neologisms French, English, German, Turkish etc. Gastronomy terms can appear as specialized phrases or in simple phrases. The history of gastronomy concerns the evolution of food preparation in terms of refinement, development and differentiation of tastes. So, while gastro-technics represent techniques, gastronomy is an art. From an etymological point of view, the word gastronomy comes from ancient Greek, from “gastér” (meaning stomach) and “nomos” (meaning knowledge or law). Also worthy of consideration there is the history of food pathology and the history of food hygiene. In the Physiology of Taste, by Brillat-Savarin, gastronomy is defined as Rational knowledge of everything that relates to man as a feeding being (Brillat-Savarin, 2015). Gastronomy researches people and things, in order to take from one country to another everything that is worth knowing, and a well-arranged feast is a summary of the world, each country sending its representatives.

Gastronomy has its origins in all major and classical civilizations, yet in the context of hospitality and tourism gastronomy is a new area of study. Perceptual sensors play a major psychological and psychosociological role in the appreciation of culinary preparations, just like other tourist experiences at other destinations (Aries, 2016).

Consumption of food and beverages, especially when dining in the city, is a pleasant sensory experience, and the pleasure factor or “feel-good” factor as a result of eating at a particular destination is a marketing tool that should not be underestimated (Poulain, 2018). That is why it can be argued that carefully selecting the special treatment and/or dishes that can fulfill a desire or a personal lust, tourists will value more what they feel at a tourist destination and what that destination offers. Although the relationship between gastronomy and tourism is real, there are very few studies in specialty literature that address the link between gastronomy and tourism, respectively communication aspects of related to the purchase of food and tourism services (Dabija, Bejan, & Tipi, 2018).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Food: Is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism. It has mainly plant or animal origin and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins or minerals.

Human Life (Human Condition): What it means to be human; the experiences, characteristics, and limitations of life shared by all humans, as opposed to other lifeforms.

Culinary Art: Including “cooking-related” means of cooking, is the art of preparing, cooking, and presenting food, usually in the form of meals. The one who works in this field—especially in restaurants—is called a “cook” and lately he/she is called a “culinary artist”.

Ecosystem: The complex of living organisms, their physical environment, and all their interrelationships in a particular unit of space.

Romanian Cuisine: Includes a diverse mix of dishes, from several traditions with which it came into contact, but it also retains its own character.

Civilization: The entirety of human knowledge and experience, all the acquisitions of the human spirit, the high level of development of a society.

Gastronomy: A term used in the culinary field, to define almost everything, from fine dining experiences to specific studies on the chemical handling of food.

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