5 Days Lamb & Green Feast Transylvanian Cooking Tour

  • Transylvania Culinary Academy, Crit Nr. 42, Brasov district, Romania

5 Days Lamb & Green Feast Transylvanian Cooking Tour

  • Transylvania Culinary Academy, Crit Nr. 42, Brasov district, Romania

The Kitchen of the Springs Cooking Holidays

At this time of the year, following the March Spring equinox all of nature comes back to life after the long, cold winter. A special package has been created for you to experience the spring holidays and all that comes with it, including a great culinary workshop. The cooking classes will follow the local culinary tradition of the season. Special, traditional festive dishes, made from fresh spring products like organic country lamb, greens from the garden and fresh cheeses specific for the season will delight you with their incredible taste.

Highlights

  • Cooking and baking classes
  • Visit the Saxon village of Viscri, world heritage site
  • Taste wild spring greens that you can’t find in a supermarket
  • Visit a sheep fold, and taste the cheeses made by the shepherd
  • Witness the making of traditional spring lamb Transylvanian dish
  • Visit Sighisoara Medieval Citadel, world heritage site
  • Enjoy a festive Easter/Pasha brunch
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • 3 days with instruction
  • Hebrew, Romanian, English
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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.

Amenities

  • Free Wi-Fi access
  • Internet corner with computer
  • Outdoor lounges with a smoker's place
  • Outside loggia for breakfast
  • Parking is available off the premises

In the heart of Transylvania and close to unique Unesco World Heritage Sites, this newly renovated and comfortable Saxon property dating from the 18th century offers the ideal experience of witnessing traditional food processes and culinary culture, along with authentic traditional life style. During your stay, you will enjoy: hands-on cooking classes on traditional popular dishes made from fresh natural or organic products; visits to the local market; buying products from local farmers and taking part in demonstrations of ancient food processing like the making of cheese or bread.

You will enjoy picking vegetables and fruits from the garden, foraging and hiking in the wilderness along with visits to Saxon villages, fortified churches and the medieval citadels of Transylvania. The Transylvania Culinary Academy is a place to enjoy being together and to create convivial times. The cooking programs are designed so you will enjoy authentic local food and wine, appreciate eating real food unadulterated by chemicals and additives and know where your food comes from along with discovering the culture and beauty of Transylvania.

Day 1 - Arrival, welcome dinner

  • Arrive from 14:00.
  • You will be assisted to accommodate in the location.
  • Welcome beverage and light snack - local peasant dish.
  • Guided visit of the village and church.
  • Aperitif and dinner.
  • Introduction and discussions on the workshop themes.

Day 2 - Market visit, excursion, free time, cooking class

  • Breakfast with natural products from local farmers.
  • Visit to local market and free time in Sighisoara medieval citadel, Unesco Heritage Site.
  • Lunch in Sighisoara is not provided.
  • 16:00 First cooking class. You will work with different cuts of lamb and you will be introduced to the greens of the season. Two traditional Transylvanian dishes will be prepared along with green salads.
  • Dinner with prepared dishes and local brandy and wine included.
  • After dinner, discussions and entertainment.

Day 3 - Excursion, shepherding, cheese tasting, baking class

  • Breakfast with natural products from the local farmers
  • Trip to Viscri, Unesco World Heritage Site, including the shepherding experience, cheese tasting and a picnic packed lunch.
  • 16:00 Baking class. Festive Easter and Pascha cheesecake with fresh cheese from the shepherd.
  • Drinks and dinner, followed by entertainment with local traditional music.
  • During Spring holidays (Pasha and Easter), Transylvania Culinary Academy will feature traditional festive food on Saturday or Sunday, as well as an Easter egg hunt on Sunday morning, plus a special brunch with surprises from the Little Rabbit.

Day 4 - Cooking class, free time

  • Breakfast with natural products from the local farmers
  • 10:00 Hands-on cooking class. You start with picking greens and vegetables from Transylvania Culinary Academy's own garden from which you will prepare three specific seasonal dishes. A local village cook will cook with you a popular soup, specific for the region, but very easy to do it in your own home and adapt it to your taste.
  • Lunch with prepared dishes.
  • Free time in the afternoon. Many activities available will be presented, including visiting interesting historical monuments in the region.
  • Dinner.
  • Optional - Wine tasting at a wine bar in Sighisoara - not included.

Day 5 - Departure

  • Breakfast with natural products from the local farmers.
  • Participants will receive the recipes of the prepared dishes.
  • Check out until 12:00.

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.

Activities
  • Cooking classes
  • Mountain biking nearby
  • Wine tasting / tour
General
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Picnic area
  • Special menu request
  • Terrace
Services
  • Bicycle rental nearby
  • Car rental nearby
  • Free Wi-Fi / computer
  • Tour assistance

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.

Lushko (traditional cabbage soup)

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.

Optional tours

  • Brasov, architecturally a notable reminder and visibly reminiscent of the richness of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and, as the residents proudly call it, the best kept secret of a small city in the world. Brasov is also a major entry portal to Carpathian mountain wilderness areas
  • General unaccompanied and / or guided tours to nearby UNESCO World heritage Sites with fortified churches such as Viscri, Saschiz, Darjiu, Biertan, Valea Viilor, Cairtic, Prejmer
  • Sighisoara, a truly medieval citadel, home to Vlad Draculs birth house, summer concerts and many different types of festivals
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Cooking classes
  • Daily breakfast

Driving directions from Bucharest

  • Driving from Bucharest, you have around 240 kilometers to Crit. It is approximately 3.5 hours drive. Bucharest is located in the South of Romania and has one airport open at present: Henri Coanda International Airport - Otopeni (OTP).
  • From Bucharest take the DN1 to Brasov.
  • From Brasov drive for 84 kilometers on E60 (Targu Mures direction), and after passing Rupea and Bunesti village, turn left at the sign to Crit.

Driving directions from Targu Mures

  • Targu Mures is 86 kilometers from Crit and Transylvania Airport Targu Mures serves the area.
  • Drive on E60 in the direction of Sighisoara and then Brasov.
  • After passing Sighisoara following the signs for Brasov, and drive for approximately 29 kilometers and then turn right at the sign for Crit.

Driving directions from Sibiu

  • Sibiu is one of the most important cities of Transylvania, and an European Cultural Capital from 2007. The Sibiu International Airport is an important access point for internal or foreign tourism.
  • To reach Crit, you have to drive 130 kilometers on route 14 via Medias and Sighisoara.
  • Follow the signs for Brasov for approximately 29 kilometers and then turn right at the sign for Crit.

Arrival by flights

  • Bucharest - Otopeni Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP), 260 kilometers to Crit - 3.5 hours
  • Cluj-Napcoa - Cluj Napoca International Airport (CLJ), 188 kilometers to Crit - 3 hours
  • Sibiu - Sibiu International Airport (SJP), 144 kilometers to Crit - 2 hours
  • Targu Mures - Transilvania Airport (TGM), 95 kilometers to Crit - 1.2 hours

Testimonials

  • Review by a traveler from Laos
    10 out of 10

    "We traveled as a family group of four adults by plane from Amsterdam to Bucharest, then by rental car from Bucharest to Crit. On the way we bought fresh chantarelle mushrooms from a roadside seller. The Convivium is a wonderfully restored Saxon farmhouse, we were given large rooms, each with their own bathroom and separate sitting room, tastefully decorated with antique farmer furniture. The charm of the place is that there are so many place where you can sit and enjoy the views of the vegetable garden, the village and the fields. Our host, Michaela, took us for a walk in the village and discussed the program with us. She had cooked an amazing dinner with local products, we talked a lot and we found we have a lot of ideas about natural food in common. Over the next four days, Michaela showed us around the region, we learned so much from her extensive knowledge of the history. All the time were either collecting or buying and cooking local food together and then eating it. The mushrooms and the fruits were fantastic, so was the meat. I think I gained 3-4 pounds in the process. I woke up every day at 6 a.m. to go out for long birding walks around the village. The landscape is amazing with its rolling hills, meadows full of flowers, streams and forests, full of birds and wildlife. It was a most wonderful holiday. Highly recommended!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Israel
    10 out of 10

    "The property is amazing! Renovated beautifully from a Saxon old property, gave us the experience of going back in time. Traditional and comfortable in the same time, peaceful and in a beautiful surrounding. Each room has a unique set up of old furniture meant to be in a museum. We enjoyed having our coffee in the court yard that has plenty of outdoor spaces to enjoy as loggias and terraces. Splendid views everywhere. We had plenty of activities to choose from and many historical attractions to visit. Perfect vacation!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Alexandru Cabuz from Romania
    10 out of 10

    "This is a quiet, warm and welcoming guesthouse in a quaint German village in the heart of Transylvania, in Romania. It is surrounded by forested hills, hiking and biking trails, and many other quaint villages, including the already famous Viscri village, where prince Charles himself has a vacation home. A particularity of the region are the well preserved fortified churches, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and date back to the 12th and 13th centuries. There are also the medieval towns of Sighisoara, Sibiu, Mediaş, Braşov, and the well preserved fortresses of Rupea and Făgăraş, all within approximately 1-hour drive."

    "We spent our honey-week here, and would go back anytime. The house is furnished and decorated in the local traditional style of the German ethnics that populated the region until the early 1990s, the food is entirely locally sourced, and the host has a passion for collecting traditional recipes from the region, and spoiling the guests with a different one every night. Everything from the organic butter and homegrown vegetables, to the locally baked bread, to the homemade berry preserves, and traditionally cooked meats and soups, will remain in our memory for a long time! Strongly recommended!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler
    10 out of 10

    "The place is something we could not imagine that we can ever find. It is a genuine back to basics experience, with a top comfort service beautifully put in place. The surprise comes not from the very artistic and tasteful recreation of the authentic place that once used to be there, which you may definitely expect by looking at the pictures (if you are lucky enough or smart and choose this place over the more advertised ones), but from the gastronomic experience that Michaela, one of the owners, is revealing. We had a great dinner and next day a cooking class and a horse carriage trip to the hills. All I can say is that we will definitely come back for more, to take the full fledged gastronomical experience of 3-4 days of cooking classes, to have time enough to go around to the great fortresses in the nearby villages and to share also all these with our friends, whom we missed this time. It is an unbelievable experience that we recommend. If you are looking for anything commercial or want a high hills holiday, better choose something different. Also do not expect to find TV in the bedrooms. However do not expect to miss it at all. Take a book with you instead. And expect a 5+ stars quality behind the big doors of the gate. You'll not be disappointed."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Ioana D from United States
    10 out of 10

    "If you are looking for a peaceful, tranquil vacation filled with experiences and memories that would last a lifetime this is the place to be. Convivum Transilvania is conveniently located within three hours of Bucharest and the international airport. The ride to Crit is beautiful and it makes for great sightseeing. Once here, there is plenty to do and discover: from cooking classes and food sampling, to strolls around town or drives to Sighisoara (stop at the café in the central square and try the homemade pies) and Korund to see how ceramic is made. The place itself has been beautifully and carefully restored. Every detail showcases the owner's love for art, her passion for cooking and her efforts to preserve the history and old charm of this place. I loved the hand painted furnishings around the inn and the vanities in the bathrooms. Each room has its own personality and décor. All in all, my stay here was wonderful; it had a little bit of everything: sightseeing, cooking, eating and loads of fun doing them all. I am looking forward to my next visit."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Israel
    10 out of 10

    "This is the best edu-foody-fun vacation I had in a long time! We visited in September when the place was just opened. We were taken by the combination of beautiful scenery, rural village life, modern accommodation and kitchen, passionate and knowledgeable host, traditional cooking and interaction with people from the area, excellent cooking classes and great food. We spent some days at cooking class and visited agriculture areas nearby. We also visited the historic town of Sigishuara. We visited Brashov and Sinaya on our travel to and from the airport. We had fun and good rest and an opportunity to reflect on our life. We enjoyed this vacation very much and plan to come back soon."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

Brasov, Romania

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