Local Gastronomy from Hațeg Country and Pădureni Land - Hațeg Country - Pădureni Land

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Local Gastronomy from Hațeg Country and Pădureni Land

Rural life
1. Culinary preparations, tourist brand
In Pădureni Land the most famous of the dishes is the PLĂCINTA PĂDURENEASCĂ - Pădureni pie, obtained after a recipe passed down from generation to generation.
"You cannot say that you visited the Pădureni Land if you did not taste a Pădureni pie and did not drink a glass of vinars (local fruit brandy). I think that the most important tourist brand of the Pădureni Land are the Pădureni pies baked in cast-iron skillet with unsalted cheese, tasty as only a woman from Pădureni can cook. After a day of work in the field, the Pădureni people prepare a large table where they serve sarmale or boiled cabbage and pork. After that everybody eats a thick potato soup, served with scrambled sheep cheese. I am convinced that the tourism in the Pădureni Land can be based only on these dishes" explains the ethnologist Rusalin Işfănoni.
The pies are made from dough made from flour, cream, salt and milk. This dough is rolled in a round shape and filled with a mixture of cow and sheep cheese, milk cream and egg, and a little corn flour millet and chopped dill. The mixture is called scrob. Then, the dough is bend in six and cut into corners, then fried in a little oil.

Aurelia Muntean from Poienița Voinei explains how to make pies:
"It's not hard, you need bread, eggs, cheese, zămăchișă. The milk you just take from the cow is put on fire, and then, when it boils, add a spoon or two vinegar, this is zămăchișă. When we finish kneading the dough, we make the sign of the cross, as all good Christians. After that, we fill it with three kinds of cheese and two types of cream, and the pies are fried on the traditional stove."
2. Other preparations from local gastronomy
Hațeg Country is also known for VÎRŞLI DE SĂLAŞU, a registered traditional product. They are produced according to a hundred-year-old recipe, from goat and sheep meet. After the meat is matured for a few days, it is spiced according to a secret recipe. Virșli are made pairs, hung up on sticks, and placed for 2-3 hours in a brick furnace, where fir tree wood is burned. They are baked and smoked, and after they dry, they can be eaten raw or boiled.
The product is unique in the world. In the former days, there were about 20 families who were preparing virșli,but now only a few are left. Everything is secret, from the selection and processing of meat to the seasoning of the product, to baking and smoking. The manufacturing process takes a long time because everything is done manually, and the taste does not resemble any existing product on the market. The recipe differs from that of Brad virșli (also an area in Hunedoara County), which are boiled instead of baked.  
Other local dishes
The dishes cooked in the Haţeg and Pădureni basins were prepared on specially constructed stoves, called căloni, built in the room. It had an open hearth, 40-50 cm high, called pomnol, with a chimney. The fire was burning sideways, so the pot had to be turned round very often for the food to boil. In newer houses, built with more than one room, a stove with a much higher efficiency was adopted.
In the yard oven, they baked bread and bread knotted rolls (colaci).  
Bread (pita) was the basic food. It was made of wheat flour, rye or barley, consumed in all seasons. It provides daily food to the inhabitants but also has ritual and ceremonial function when used in special circumstances.
Ritual bread has specific names depending on the circumstances in which it is ritually consumed. Thus, the bread placed on the ursitoare's table is called pogace. For religious holidays, weddings and the remembrance of the dead, as in celebrations over the year, they baked knotted bread rolls, of round shape. Christmas rolls were called crăciuniţe, and Easter ones- păştiţe. At Christmas and 9 March, when the 40 Martyrs of Sevastia were celebrated, there were made special shapes like the 8th figure, the infinite symbol, with a strong apotropaic charge.
Sometimes, instead of bread, they were eating a sort of polenta made of corn flour or barley (mămăligă) called mandră.
Mămăliga is only eaten with certain foods: boiled or sour milk, cheese, eggs, cabbage and fried mushrooms.
According to the Christian tradition, the food year includes fasting times, before important Christian celebrations: Christmas - six weeks, Easter - seven weeks, before St. Peter and Paul (29 June) and before the Assumption of the Virgin (15 August). The food was prepared without meat or meat products, eggs and dairy products.

Cisăliţa is a boil of squash or plums consumed with lettuce or pistachios.
Papa din moare de curechi is a boiled cabbage garnish thickened with corn flour. It is consumed with lettuce or pomegranate.
The garlic mash is prepared by crushing the garlic in the sauce and salting it. It is consumed with mallow or maize.
Sarmalele de post used instead of meat, as stuffing, big crushed colt or mushrooms.
Liptari cu mălai. Plum magnolia dipped in the water. It is eaten with poppies or mauve.
The beaten peas (dried and crushed dried beans), and horseradish wheat with honey, like compotes, magic, honey or mujdei, could be consumed and cold.
Food for post

Zama, is a soup, made of vegetable, beans and potatoes.
From the pumpkin seeds is made a porridge called tambura, which is prepared as following. The seeds are first crushed in the pot, then crushed and the flour is chosen, which is moistened with warm water, beat well and put in boiling water.
The circle is made of flour with water, made of cocoloa, which boiled and served as a sauce or diatal: onion roasted in oil, with dill.
The cucumber is also a herb made of onion, flour and water.
Crumbs, potatoes are prepared in the form of a gourmet meal, with diary of onions with dill, fried, cooked or baked.
Mâncăruri de frupt.
The dishes for the rest of the year were called "mâncăruri de frupt". During this time you can cook with lard of pork, but the meat is consumed only on Sunday.

Boiled Food:
Vegetable soup (zamă) or with potatoes, beans, with or without meat is cooked almost daily. Leveş (chicken soup) is preparing for Sunday and festive meals. In the beginning of summer, they eat green salad cooked in milk.
In Hațeg, the lamb is the ritual preparation of Easter.
From it is prepared soup, roast and pepper.
Pork: Prepare bacon, lard, pecina, preserved in brine, bones with meat on them, smoked, sausages, caltabo.
The beef was very little used in the cuisine of the Haţeg Country.
When cutting a calf the meat used in soups and paprika with a lot of onion, pepper and broth.
Low meals
The most common are peppers, fried crumbs, boiled pork sauce, cabbage with pears, pork stew with pork, fried or cooked eggs.
Poultry, pork, lamb, sheep or beef were consumed rather rarely, on Sundays and on holidays.
In Pădureni lambs were not sacrificed at Easter but only at Nedeia.
Dough (Baked).
Frequently doughs were prepared by roasting in the pan (cast iron tile, high). These were sometimes served as a second or desert.
In the days of fasting, the doughs were commonplace, and cakes made of dough made of flour, some oil and water, roasted in oil.
In the days of fruiting, they prepare the pădureni pie.
Clătita is cooked everywhere under the name of scoverzi or pupi.

Dough is made from flour, eggs, milk and a little salt. If they are sweet, put a teaspoon of sugar. Dough is poured until thick consistency is obtained, then fried in hot oil. Served with cheese, sweet, honey or sugar.
The millet is made of millet or corn flour mixed with water and sugar. Baked in sauce or oven.
From the second half of the twentieth century, puff pastries, cozonac (stollen/sweat bread) with walnut, poppy or Turkish delight, cornuleţ (horn-shaped cookies)  and cakes,  locally called turtata, spread in the area.
Fruits consumed are apples, pears and plums. Of the other fruits there are few, for them the soil is unfavorable. Fruits are consumed fresh. For winter fruits are  stored in the hay of the barn roof. In summer from all these fruits jam, magiun, is prepared, an essential food in the days of fasting.
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