In a very
general way, Transylvania is seen to have fatty and heavy dishes traditionally.
Its main influences are Austrian and Hungarian cuisine. Pork and lard are
fairly common, as well as tarragon, an aromatic herb that was brought there by
Saxon colonists in the Middle Ages. Boiled and smoked fatback, doused in chili
powder, is used year long, eaten as such or used as an ingredient. The
Hungarian influence is manifest in the fact that sauces and salads often are
sweetened with sugar, and in the use of hot pepper. Some famous Transylvanian dishes are sauerkraut soup with
sour cream, pork or beef soup with vegetables, mixed smoked meat stew, as well
as oversized stuffed pickled cabbage.
One lesser known
preparation originating in Transylvania is the local pate. To make it you need
one kg of liver, one quarter kg of fatback, a quarter kg of pork, a little
wine, two eggs, and 200 g of mushrooms. The liver, meat, and fatback have to be
boiled with a little salt, then minced. Mix into a paste, together with the
mushrooms, which have been previously been boiled and minced. Add wine to the
right consistency, adding salt and pepper to taste. It is best preserved in
jars, with a layer of lard to seal the top.
In the Apuseni
Mountains, where winters are harsh and people have to work hard every day,
therefore people there make heavy food. One typical preparation in the region
is the pork and sausage stew. You need one kg of pork, half a kg of smoked
sausage, 3 or 4 onions, and two green peppers. Sweat in oil the finely chopped
onion, or in lard, as they do locally. Add the cubed meat and the sliced
sausage. Fry everything to a golden brown, then add water to boil. Simmer down
the liquid, then add a little sour cream, chili powder, and salt to taste.