Romania is a country where East and West meet and mix in a creative way, a Latin speaking people locked inside a ring made out of Slavic countries and Hungary, an effervescent society still looking for its balance as a result of fifty years of communist dictatorship and twenty years of transition to the free market economy. Agriculture has traditionally been the backbone of the Romanian economy; more than one-third of the land is devoted to cultivation (including vineyards, orchards, and vegetable gardens). The climate and the extensive Romanian plains are most favourable to the development of cereal crops. Wheat and corn (maize) are most important, followed by barley, rye, and oats while vegetables and legumes, peas, beans, and lentils are planted on relatively small plots. Romania can be counted among the main wine-producing countries of Europe. It specializes in the production of high-quality wines, using modern methods; with the growth of the tourist trade, its wines are becoming known to, and appreciated by, a larger international public. Livestock raising has a very long history in Romania. About half the cattle are raised for beef, which is an important export commodity. Dairy products are also an important component of Romanian agriculture, as are wool, eggs, and honey.