The cuisine in the historical region of Moldavia is considered to be one of the tastiest in the world, both for the large number of popular dishes and for the many gourmet shades given by the inspired combination of produce, tools and some due to the Slavic or Greek influence.
So, we invite you to a boletus borsch, a pork stew and spiced cabbage pie, or scrambled eggs with finely chopped meat, mincemeat croquettes “sprinkled” with plum brandy with fenugreek. Moreover, we trust you will appreciate the “hârzob” (trout smoked in fir branches), the monastic chicken, the pickled Saffron milk caps, and the cheese polenta or potato and onion pies called “guguluf”. As for the dessert, you are invited to have some shepherd’s pie, the famous “poale-n brâu” pies or a teaspoonful of raspberries, blueberries or roses confiture. In the Christmas season, housewives will offer the Moldavian pork stew and the “julfă”, a delicatessen of fine pastry sheets stuffed with crushed hemp seeds, also known as “Jesus’ Diapers”.
But each boarding house in Neamţ area has its own menu, carefully selected to please its guests. They are made with home-grown ingredients in the very garden of the boarding house or in the households of the villages nearby.
Berries such as blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are presented in the menus under various forms: confiture, sorbet, jams, in a diverse range of delicious cakes, side dish, juices, teas, syrups or the highly appreciated berry-brandy.
Acacia, lime tree, rape or poly floral honey completes the rich variety of produce, together with local herbs used for fragrant teas such as wild thyme, St John’s Wort, cowslip, berries, acacia, elder, lime tree, mint, and many more.
Freshly gathered mushrooms or the fresh fish are on offer at boarding houses. All sorts of preserved vegetables during autumn – such as prickled ones or “zacuscă” appetisers, made according to many and varied recipes known only to the local housewives, make up diverse menus you can indulge yourself with as if you were attending a royal feast.
In the hill and mountain landscape in Neamţ area sheep, goats, or cattle are always present and so are the skilled shepherds protected by shepherding dogs. On the slopes or clearings, the wooden sheepfolds appear in their simplicity waiting quietly for the animals to return from their grazing. Shepherding continues to be practiced as it used to, observing the same calendar – day by day, season after season – and the same ancient practice: grazing, watering, milking, and making various kinds of cheese and the food for the shepherds.
More recently developed in Neamţ area, tourist sheepfolds, providing special facilities for guests, wait for you to grasp the secrets of pastoral life and to taste the dishes prepared by shepherds. What could be more delicious than a piece of cheese freshly prepared at the fold or a mug of milk, freshly milked and boiled in the cast-iron kettle. If you stay here for a bit longer, you will also taste other cheeses, butter, “balmoş” – a traditional shepherd’s dish combining cheese, milk and corn flour – and “jintuit” – buttermilk.
Inns waiting for to stop by at crossroads (E85-DN2):
- Ancuţa’s Inn, Tupilaţi commune, phone: 0233 781 400, 0744 548 075, www.hanu-ancutei.ro
- Hanul Răzeşilor, Tupilaţi commune, phone: 0730 608 141, 0730 947 749, www.hanulrazesilor.ro
Masters of confiture in Neamţ County:
- confiture, sorbet, syrups – Agapia Nunnery, phone: 0233 244 736
- confiture, sorbet, syrups – Văratic Nunnery, phone: 0233 244 616
- “zacusca” appetisers (Romanian dish made of eggplant and tomatoes) and jam fromVrâncioaia – Valentina Lungu, Dumbrava Roșie Village, str. Baltagului, nr. 63, phone: 0731 327 627, zacuscatraditionala.wordpress.com
- traditional confiture – Socea Cristina, Poloboc village, Rediu Commune, phone: 0756 948 041
- cold-pressed sunflower oil, confiture, and “zacusca” appetisers – Rebegea Veleri Valeri, DobreniVillage, tel. 0754 757 420
You are invited to catch up your breath at:
- “Crucea Arsă” Tourist Sheepfold, Farcaşa commune, phone: 0233 256 502, 0745 009 603
- Hăşmaş Tourist Sheepfold, Dămuc village, phone: 0744 385 482, 0744 472 309 (TEO Cottages)