The Suru Chalet is definitely our favorite chalet in the Făgăraș Mountains and with good reason: very nice hosts, always friendly and smiling, excellent accommodation, clean and comfy, delicious food, kids friendly place, a perfect view, and small enough to feel like you’re actually visiting your family. We’re visiting this place at least once a year because of all the reasons above, but also because it’s quite close to Sibiu and easy to reach for us. This year we went up there again to spend a sunny and warm September weekend with friends, while helping in preparing a dinner with ingredients found mainly in the mountains area.
For a weekend, a small and quiet mountain village in the Sibiu County, called Rîu Sadului was turned into the headquarters of a series of activities and workshops aiming to revive the local traditions, to reconnect urban people to the village life and to save a local endangered cheese assortment.
Now that the wonderful 2019 European Region of Gastronomy year has begun in Sibiu, let me explain some words that we frequently use in our relationship with food. I will firstly answer the following questions: What exactly does gastronomy mean? What does Slow Food stand for? Why should we eat locally? On the other hand, what is the New Transylvanian Cuisine? Let us take it gradually and see how all of these matters provide value to us here in Sibiu, in 2019 the Year of the European Gastronomic Region.
As winter in Romania is not very friendly and having outdoor events is a bit out of the question, main cities of the country were conquered, during the weekends from October to February (2018 and 2019), by a series of events aiming to help the locals discover and taste what their area has to offer in terms of gastronomy and not only. It happened in cities like Bucharest, Brașov, Cluj Napoca, Iași or Târgu Mureș. With dinner, brunch and a gastro tour in search of local producers, old and forgotten recipes and hidden places, but strongly related to the city’s community. Here’s how these weekends were organized and the story behind them.
Mid September – still summer temperatures and sunny in Sibiu, still plenty of tourists taking photos of our medieval old town, still the main squares of the city bustling with concerts, outdoor events and a big crowd. And somewhere on the Mitropoliei Street, right next to the Big Square (Piata Mare), at Jules Bistro, in their summer garden, a handful of well known Romanian chefs from all over the country get together for 3 full days to bring gastronomy to a next level.
I’ve said it before that Sibiu has a lot to offer in terms of events almost all year long, but when something like a Food Culture Festival is happening in town, we have to be there, especially since it’s all about ‘eating local’ – save old tastes and varieties, preserve beautiful cultural landscapes.