(DISCLAIMER: This blog is not an official Fulbright Program blog; the views expressed are my own and not those of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations.)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Moțeasca Cuisine, Gârda de Sus cookbook

 The Moți (mot-zee)  are a highland people who live in the Apuseni Mountains.  They are shepherding folk who have lived in the region since Roman times.  Their mountain villages, way off the beaten path, consist of clusters of houses overlooking beautiful valleys where they graze their livestock.

We stayed in a bed and breakfast in a town in the center of the Moți region which had a cookbook of traditional Moți recipes.  I copied some of the more interesting ones:

Mămăligă with grositor (Polenta with cream)

You need: Butter, corn flour, cheese, and fresh cream
How to prepare: This recipe is relatively easy to cook.  Prepare the traditional maize meal and place a layer in a deeper pot, after having greased the pot with hot butter). Grease the layer of maize mush with some of the hot butter and grate cheese and cream.  Serve while still hot.
Recipe from the Beleu Maria family, Snide village

Pies cooked on hot stone slab

You need: wheat flour, yeast, green ewe cheese or fresh cheese, an egg, salt and sugar
How to prepare: Knead the dough and set it aside to raise.  Roll out the dough and cut it into pieces the size of the frying pan.  Fill them up with cheese and bake them on the hot stone slab.  Add some cream mixed up with butter on each of them.  Serve with a glass of milk.
Recipe from the  Bendea Constanța family, Gârda de Sus

Întinsură (the dip)

The name of this culinary delight comes from the fact that it is served with mămăligă or bread that is dipped into before eating.
You need:  milk, cream, wheat flour, salt
How to prepare: Put the milk and the cream on to boil in a pot.  Whisk the wheat flour continually until the mixture has the firmness of cream.  Salt to taste.
Recipe from the Tomuța Maria family, Huzărești village


You need: a cupful of fresh cream, a spoonful of wheat flour, salt and corn meal (polenta)
How to prepare: Mix thoroughly the wheat flour and the crem in a pot. Put the mixture on to boil and mix continuously for 10 minutes.  Add the corn wheat and blend it until it is coming to the boil, about 10 minutes. so that the mixture comes off the pot’s edges.  Serve it while hot.
Recipe from the Trifa family, Gârda de Sus


You need: milk, eggs, butter, cream, cheese, and corn meal
How to prepare: Put the milk on to boil and prepare the maize mush.  Add a pinch of salt.  Grease a griddle with butter and lay the maize mush.  Make a hole in this mixture and put some butter and an egg.  Add some cream and grated cheese and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
Recipe from the Suciu Maria family, Gârda de Sus

Crampă (the cramp)

The Cramp is an alcoholic beverage, often found in Gârda de Sus commune, particularly during the cold season as it is a beverage which is served hot.

You need: 0.5 liters alcohol, sugar, cumin
How to prepare: Put the alcohol on to boil with 1 liter water and add 150 grams of sugar and 5 grams of cumin. Mix thoroughly and boil.
Recipe from the  family, Gârda de Sus

Berry Liquor

You need: 5 kg of ripe berries, 1 kg sugar, 1 liter vodka or brandy
How to prepare: Mix the berries with sugar and put the mixture in a glass jar in sunny place for 2 weeks until the mixture becomes juicy.  Add 1 liter of vodka or brandy. Strain the mixture through a towel folded in four.

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