Commitment + Clinical Leadership = Better Outcomes

Port of Call: Exploring the Culture of Romania

Port of Call: Exploring the Culture of Romania

Feb. 15th, 2024

Each month, participating communities affiliated with Saber Healthcare will celebrate the culture of a different destination each month. The Port of Call program allows the residents to explore different countries and cities through food, games, and activities. For February 2024, the theme is Romania!

About Romania

Romania is a southeastern country located in Europe. The capital of Romania is Bucharest, and it is estimated that there are over 19,000,000 people who live in this country.1

Romanians enjoy four seasons throughout the year. The terrain of the land is one-third mountainous, one-third forest, and one-third hills and plains. As a result, there is a mix of resources available, allowing Romanians to utilize the land for pastures, agriculture, and mining for different resources such as gold and silver.2

Things to Do in Romania

There are thousands of exciting places and activities to do in Romania! Here are a few fun activities to do in Romania.


There are over 310 castles located in Romania. Most of these castles were built during the 14th to 18th centuries. Some people will book castles in Romania for weddings, dinner parties, and business events.3

The Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle, is one of the oldest castles in Romania. Currently, The Bran Castle serves as a museum for Queen Marie of Romania. People will often come here for Halloween events, and there are often competitions to allow someone to stay here for Halloween night.4

Another famous castle is the Corvin castle, built in a Gothic style with towers, balconies, windows, and stone carvings. Clay Castle of the Valley of Fairies is an eco-friendly castle built over two years, being made of 100% clay, straw, sand, and wood pillars.4


Romania boasts 95 art museums, 59 history and archeology museums, and 120 ethnography and anthropology museums. In 2022, it is estimated that there are 446 museums total in Romania.5

One of the most famous museums is Muzeul Naţional al Satului "Dimitrie Gusti", which includes more than 300 buildings that represent Romania’s rural architecture.6 Additionally, there is the Muzel Astra, the largest open air museum in Europe with over 400 buildings made of stone and brick.7

Wildlife and the outdoors

If you like the outdoors, there are 30 vibrant national parks to visit across Romania.8 These parks include a mixture of mountains, hiking trails, and animals to spot whenever you visit.

In Romania, there is so much wildlife as you explore the country’s beauty: from over 300 species of birds to fish in every hue of the rainbow, you’re bound to find some amazing creatures.9 You can take photos of the wildlife while exploring Romania’s natural beauty or go visit a zoo to see some amazing animals up close.

The Food of Romania

Romanian food has been influenced over the years by its native people as well as its military occupants throughout history. Romanian food has influences from the Balkans, Turks, Hungarians, Germans, and Italians. The Orthodox Church also played a role in Romanian cuisine, as it was customary to cook pork dishes called piftie and caltabos, as well as cozonac, a sweet made from flour, nuts, and Turkish delight.10

Many Romanian dishes are comprised of meat, vegetables, cereals, dairy products, milk, and honey. They also have a category of soup called ciorbă, which usually taste sour because they are made with lemon juice, saukerkraut juice, or vinegar.11


Pork is the most common protein in Romanian cuisine. Sarmele, the national dish of Romania that dates all the way back to the Balkans, are cabbage rolls filled with pork, rice, and bacon. Romanians eat sarmele during all of their big events, from weddings to holidays to funerals.12


In Romania, pies date back to the 15th and 16th centuries, and were heavily influenced by Turkish cooking. Many pies included meat, cheese, and vegetables as part of their ingredients.13


Cheese plays a large role in Romanian cooking, dating all the way back to when the Darcians would cook it with olive oil and white wine. Romanians currently make 6 different types of cheeses, which are telemea, Branza de Burduf, Cascaval, Cas, Urda, and Branza de Vaci. Today, the best way to purchase authentic and fresh Romanian cheese is at a farmer’s market.12

Port of Call Recipe

For the Port of Call program, the affiliated dietary teams are designing recipes based on Romanian culture! Here is a taste of what the affiliated dietary teams are putting together for their residents. You can make this for your family at home and adjust the quantities to fit your needs because this recipe is for a facility size. Recipes are subject to change.

Romanian Soup Ciorba de Perisoare

  • 100 EA beef meatballs cooked 1/2 oz
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced white onions
  • 2 cups diced red peppers
  • 3 TBSP chopped parsley
  • 1 TEASP dried dill
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1 TBSP ground black pepper
  • 2 TBSP Tomato paste
  • 40 CUPS beef broth or chicken broth
  • 4 TBSP olive oil
  • 4 TBSP lemon juice
  • 3 EA beaten eggs


  1. Sautee the carrots, celery, onion, and pepper in oil for 5 minutes. Sautee until they are translucent.
  2. Stir in the tomato paste and add the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil. After 10 minutes, add the meat balls.
  3. Add the herbs, salt, and pepper. Then add the lemon juice.
  4. Slowly drip the beaten eggs and stir them rapidly in a clockwise direction for about a minute.
  5. Bring the mixture to a quick boil, then remove from heat.

Romanian Sarmale Stuffed Cabbage with Rice Pilaf

  • 15 CUPS parboiled rice
  • 2 CUPS diced onions
  • 2 CUPS diced celery
  • 2 CUPS diced carrots
  • 1 CUP of softened cube butter
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1 TBSP ground black pepper
  • 4 TBSP chicken base
  • 2 CUPS green onion diced
  • 30 CUPS water


  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well in a 4" deep pan.
  2. Cover the pan with parchment paper and foil, then bake in a 350 f oven for 50 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and set aside for 15 minutes, then uncover, fluff with a fork, and serve.

Romanian Dessert Branzoaice Cheese Pie

  • 50 EA pastry puff dough 5" square
  • 8 CUPS cream cheese
  • 3 CUPS powder sugar
  • 3 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1 CUPS liquid egg
  • 1 CUPS melted butter
  • 2 TBSP lemon zest
  • 4 CUPS sour cream
  • 6 CUPS cottage cheese
  • 3 CUPS golden raisins
  • 5 TBSP powder sugar for garnish


  1. On a clean table surface, lay the dough squares and brush with liquid to act as a glue.
  2. Combine the cream cheese, cottage cheese, raisins, sour cream, vanilla, 3 cups of sugar, and lemon zest. Whisk well, then put in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. Using a 2 oz scoop, portion and drop on the middle of the dough. Bring all 4 corners of the dough together until they are overlapping.
  4. Lay the dough on a sheet pan over parchment paper, and brush with melted butter.
  5. Bake in a 350f oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until it is golden brown, then remove the mixture from the oven to rest for about 10 minutes.
  6. Garnish with powdered sugar before serving.

Activities for Port of Call

Here are some of the fun activities that the affiliated Life Enrichment departments plan to put together for their residents. Please know that these activities are subject to change.

Centerburg Respiratory

Centerburg Respiratory’s staff plans to bake cheese donuts and lettuce chips to help the residents enjoy a taste of Romanian cuisine. The team also puts together a monthly lap book for each Port of Call theme that they celebrate. The residents will enjoy some shows from Romania that usually air on the history channel, including Dracula.

Indian Lake Rehabilitation

Indian Lake’s dietary team plans to make Romanian Cozonac as part of their “Taste and Tour” of Romania. The residents will be able to take pictures with the ship at the port, watch some Romanian Folk Dancing (as well as get a chance to try it themselves), learn about cultural heritage, enjoy some fun facts about the country, and have the opportunity to create folk art in the evening.

Twin Pines Health Care Center

The Twin Pines Health Care Center plans to let their residents “tour” the castles of Romania through a PowerPoint! They also have a cooking class, and the residents will be making Fasole Batuta at the end of the month. The dietary department is also planning on serving some Romanian pretzels as a snack.

Portside Health and Rehab

Portside plans on hosting a cooking club where the residents will make Romanian food. The residents will also take a virtual tour of Romania, explore different histories and fun facts, and participate in crafts.

Grand Rapids Care Center

The Grand Rapids team plans on having a few Dracula themed activities, from watching the Bram Stoker Dracula movie to making Dracula themed crafts. The residents will also enjoy a sheep cheese tasting.

Saber Healthcare

Saber Healthcare is an organization that provides consulting services to more than 130 buildings across the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, and Delaware. To learn more about our company and services, click here.

Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long-term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.


  1. “Romania Population.” Worldometer. Accessed 26 January 2024. Link:
  2. Latham, Ernest , Cucu, Vasile S. , Turnock, David and Hitchins, Keith Arnold. "Romania". Encyclopedia Britannica, 29 Jan. 2024. Accessed 29 January 2024.
  3. “WHY ARE THERE SO MANY BREATHTAKING CASTLES IN ROMANIA?” thebalkanstravelbeauty. Accessed 26 January 2024. Link:,are%20310%20castles%20in%20Romania.
  4. “Top 10 Most Beautiful Romanian Castles.” Visitbucharest. Accessed 26 January 2024. Link:
  5. “Number of museums in Romania in 2022, by type.” Statista. 15 November 2024. Accessed 26 January 2024. Link:,120%20ethnography%20and%20anthropology%20museums.
  6. “Muzeul Naţional al Satului "Dimitrie Gusti.” Tripadvisor. Accessed 26 January 2024. Link:
  7. “Muzeul Astra.” Tripadvisor. Accessed 26 January 2024. Link:
  8. “The 10 Best National Parks in Romania: How to Visit & Why.” Romanianfriend. Accessed 26 January 2024. Link:
  9. “BIRDS OF ROMANIA.” Animalia. Accessed 26 January 2024. Link:
  10. “Romanian Cuisine – a plate full of history.” Vatra Restaurant. Accessed 26 January 2024. Link:'s%20gastronomic%20culture%20inherited%20numerous,delicious%20schnitzel%2C%20and%20the%20Bulgarians
  11. “Romanian Cuisine.” Wikipedia. Accessed 26 January 2024. Link:
  12. “The Most Delicious Traditional Romanian Food.” The Romanian Cook Book. Accessed 26 January 2024. Link:
  13. “A Guide to the Traditional Romanian Cheese.” Accessed 26 January 2024. Link: