At a first sight, Roșia Montană is just another typical Transylvanian village. Set at a base of the Apuseni Mountains, with picturesque views and beautiful architecture (but with houses that do suffer from degradation), with a mixture of different nationalities living in it, with traditions and a feeling of time standing still.
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.
At the beginning of September we took over the Suru Chalet in the Făgăraș Mountains and turned it into the headquarters of one of the coolest events we have been to this year. The 3 days spent there evolved around a old shepherd’s recipe that takes a lot of time to prepare and a lot of team work to get to the final result.
If in the first years of organizing Transilvania Gastronomică the aim of the organizers was to connect the restaurants of Sibiu to the small local producers of the county and to create and bring to life the concept of the Transylvanian New Cuisine, this year they dare to take this September 3 days event one big step further.
This year’s summer has been, at least so far (and it’s mid July when I’m writing this post) a bit hectic, with too much rain almost every day and low temperatures that almost got us to turn on the heat indoors. This also means that the hiking season was not officially open, but end of May we still decided to go up in the Făgăraș Mountains for a weekend and get a bit away from all the city noise.
May is definitely the perfect month to spend as much time as possible outdoors in Romania. It’s warm enough to start thinking that summer is finally coming, everything’s turned green already, there’s more daylight, so everything makes you just want to leave the city and enjoy nature. That’s why our extended 1st of May weekend this year happened in the Transylvanian country side.
I’ve recently written about the Hârtibaciu Valley, about how beautiful and diverse this area is and about the abundance of local products. A few days ago, the chance arose to actually taste some of these local products in dishes mastered by Sibiu’s most talented chefs and I just couldn’t say no.
During a spring weekend driving around the beautiful Transylvanian Plateau and its welcoming and relaxing villages, we also got to Cund and paid Manufactura de Brânză a visit, to try some of their hard cheese assortments.
That we love Sibiu is no longer a secret. Neither is that we love the whole county of Sibiu, with all its history, culture and diversity. And what’s not to love about it – beautiful landscapes, traditions that are still being kept, houses with old and well preserved architecture, villages with so many stories to be told around the fire, rich and diverse cuisine, rural life at its best. In a world that’s going too global, these villages keep to their local diversity.