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Christmas - Craciun in Romanian, is a special holiday that brings up a lot of memories and has tremendous tradition and charm. Add to this that Christmas is one of the richest holiday periods, from a culinary perspective in Transylvania. Meat specialties, sweet bread, pickles, sausages, stuffed cabbage, wine, and homemade brandies are only some of the rich culinary tradition in the old Saxon villages like Crit, Viscri and Mesendorf.
The rooms are authentic in their details: old furniture and ancient traditional tools and objects that could be proudly exhibited in a museum and are there to give you the flavor of the past times. In the same time, each room offers space and comfort to satisfy your needs and allows you to relax and be on holiday. All rooms have a large double bed for two guests and private en-suite bathroom. An extra single bed or two can be added on request to most of the rooms.
The Transylvanian region Transylvania Culinary Academy is located in, is called Tarnava Mare, and it is rich in natural produce: a large variety of organically grown vegetables; an extensive selection of meats; varied dairy products, specialty herbal and blossom honeys and good wine are all available.
There are extensive forests where foraging can be enjoyed and you can collect wild herbs, forest berries and nuts, an assorted selection of wild edible plants and vegetables, as well as forest floor mushrooms and even truffles during the winter months.
Transylvania is a great place for natural produce because it is an area of predominately volcanic soil, it will pretty much grow whatever you want it to grow. There are still bear and wolves in the area. Advice: Do not forage without a guide. The whole region is extensively protected in European Union law.
Wild cherries, blackberries, raspberries, rhubarb and other orchard fruits are available in different seasons of the year. October is the time when Transylvania Culinary Academy makes their table wine from the vine in their courtyard. Late December is the time when the pigs are slaughtered and then prepared for eating in many traditional ways, to be enjoyed through Christmas, New Year's Eve, and New Year's day. Many smoked and marinated cold meat cuts together with sausages and a variety of traditional meat dishes can be enjoyed and you will additionally have the possibility of experiencing cooking together with local villagers.
Put white cabbage pieces, dill, thyme, salt and black pepper with liter of water and let it simmer for some time till the cabbage is soft. Cut some bacon in small pieces and fry it in a pan. This will add an extra flavor to the soup. If you have smoked pork ribs you can put it to simmer with the cabbage from the beginning. When the bacon is fried, add two big onions finely chopped to fry with the bacon. Add tomato paste and 2 liters of water. Let it boil for 30 minutes. Make a light bechamel and add to it. Add salt and pepper to your taste. You can add sour cream when served.
Bechamel: heat a pan and melt the butter. Add the flour and fry it till light brown. Take aside from heat, start pouring part of the milk till you have a thick paste. Add some more milk and stir continuously. Return to the heat and stir adding few tbs from the soup. Add all this to the soup.
Visits to the historic fortified churches, towers, and their impressive views. Go cycling (bicycle rental is available in the area) or trekking through the beautiful surrounding countryside on the biking and trekking trails that connect to the villages close by. You can also go foraging and travel hunting in the surrounding area.
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