The Pet Market was fascinating blend of animals that could be either made into lovely home companions or just eaten outright with potatoes and peppers. Pigeons and chickens were on sale alongside puppies and parakeets. There was one rabbit for sale that was the size of a German shepherd.
The Oradea flea market has the most grilled meat stands of any single market I have ever seen in Romania. Big sellers are grilled kolbasz, pork chops, chicken legs, and at every stand.... mici. Considering that the market opens at 6 am, that makes mici the breakfast of champions. Most market mici I have eaten have been miserable, charred, raw in the center blobs of fat and gristle, the mici I breakfasted on here were superb.
Mici have been slowly modernizing over the last decade. Refigeration - once an exotic luxury in rural Romanian parking lots but now quite commonplace - had made the mici business safer and allowed for a better quality ground meat experience. As with Yugoslav cevap, the ground meat in mici has to be mixed with salt and kneaded into a paste to which a small amount of soda bicarbonate is added. The salted ground meat needs to be cold in order to form an emulsion or else wou end up with a simple tubular hamburger wad. Modern mici are thin and long when put on the grill, but blow up as the bicarbonate heats up and expands, which also adds a nice smooth grilled crust to the meat. Another adavantage of mici is that they are cheap. very cheap. Laughably cheap.
At the present exchange of 4.2 Romanian lei to one Euro, this is meat for the masses at Euro 25 cents a piece. Served with a hunk of bread and the traditionally crappy thin mustard, four mici is a hefty meal.