But as in much of Eastern Europe, it would appear that convenient, on-the-go foods and ready-meals are becoming increasingly popular among Romanian consumers.
Chr Hansen staff report that health is another important issue on the Romanian agenda. Low-fat margarines and spreads, low fat and probiotic dairy products and foods with added vitamins, fibres and minerals are gaining ground.
This of course provides an excellent opportunity for companies such as Danish ingredients firm Chr Hansen. In the words of Daniela Paraschiv, Chr. Hansen's local sales representative: "Now is the time of the professional companies."
The importance of supermarkets is increasing in Romania and their influence is significant. The arrival of new and exotic foods has forced Romanian producers to launch new products and look for new solutions.
As a result, Chr Hansen is taking a show around Eastern Europe in order to demonstrate to customers the opportunities available. In Prague for example, Anne-Lise Sylvest was on hand to demonstrate the company's recent innovations in the field of colours.
" We have developed a new natural black colour," she said. "The thing about it is that it is possible to pour. Other black colours are sticky and paste-like. Our new innovation on the other hand is pumpable, which means it's less messy to use."
Improving food safety and shelf life are other critical issues, not least in the efforts to comply with EU standards. The country's aim is to gain EU membership in 2007.
Many Romanian food producers have therefore invested in new equipment and new technologies. Last year, the EU's Special Accession Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (SAPARD) budget for Romania and Bulgaria alone was more than € 220 million.
"In this complex transition period, the Romanian producers need professional partners," said says Paraschiv. "It is a challenging, but promising period."
The Chr Hansen trip, entitled the 'Magical Sensory Tour,' involves Danish ingredients giant Chr Hansen sending a team of employees through nine Eastern European countries, including Ukraine, Romania and Croatia, using a 50 square metre mobile show room in order to gain access and share knowledge with as wide a range of people as possible. The tour kicked off in Prague last week, and is due to finish in Poland on 19 April.