Influenced by the Hungarian and Austrian cuisine, the historical region of Maramures boasts many delicious soups and sour soups, known as borsch, as well as many stews such as ragouts, paprikash, dishes of sheep cheese and plum dumplings. Plum dumplings is a dish commonly found in Hungary and Serbia and also in Transylvania. In Maramures, people use a lot of fatback or lard to cook, just like in Transylvania. Cheese and polenta are also frequently used in many dishes. The people of Maramures make stuffed cabbage rolls seasoned with sour cream, bulz - a dish consisting of cheese covered in polenta, and pancakes with sweet cheese and sour cream, which are cooked in the oven. Another dish specific to the region of Maramures is chicken stuffed with liver and vegetables, greased with lard and then cooked on a charcoal grill.
An easy-to-make dish specific to Maramures, which is very tasty and quite filling, is polenta with cheese and pork scraps which is also known as layered polenta. Here is the recipe. Make regular polenta in a pot. Grease another pot with butter and place it over medium heat until the butter melts completely. Add a first layer of polenta, 2 centimeters thick, then add a layer of soft cheese and top with a thin layer of polenta. Continue to layer alternately polenta and various cheeses, like feta cheese, soft cottage cheese, which is similar to ricotta cheese, or sharp cheese and end with a layer of hard cheese mixed with sour cream. Cook the layered polenta in the oven over low heat. Serve with strong plum brandy distilled.
In autumn, Baia Mare plays host to the Chestnut Festival, because the region is famous for the edible or sweet chestnuts grown there. Locals usually make chestnut puree served as a dessert, with whipped cream topping.
To make this dessert you need one kilo of sweet chestnuts. Notch the chestnuts with a knife and boil them for half an hour, remove the husk and mash the remaining nuts. Add three tablespoons of sugar, a little butter and a few drops of rum flavor and mix into a puree. You can serve with whipped cream topping and grated chocolate. Enjoy!
(Translated by A.M. Palcu)