In the past years, Transylvania has always been in the top ten travel destinations recommended by “Lonely Planet” or other such magazines. One of the most important parts of the local tradition are the old recipes, influenced by several communities (except for Asia, there’s no other place in the world where so many influences can be found in a local cuisine) and kept almost untouched over centuries, along with archaic Transylvanian wine sorts. Embark on a culinary and Bacchic journey through the central part of Transylvania and taste the old flavours again and again…
We will depart from Cluj in the morning and travel to the famous Salt Mine of Turda, an impressive piece of technique, built in the 18th and 19th century by the people of Transylvania, under Austrian rulership. It still has enough salt to feed the whole world for over 150 years and even though it was closed in the 1920s, it is now one of the country’s most popular museums. Before being opened to public, cheese and meat were deposited here, to be inserted with a rare, noble mold.
From here, we will travel to the small city of Aiud, situated on the Mures Valley, which was once famous for its vineyards. In the 13th century, German colonists introduced this region to several sorts of wine, which evolved and have survived to our days. At Ciumbrud, a small village outside of Aiud, we will get the chance to taste some of these wines, together with some traditional dishes.
Departing from Ciumbrud, we will travel to the former village of Feleud (nowadays part of Aiud) and meet Peter. He is one of the most famous vine-growers in the region, who is going to invite us into his home and serve us delicious homemade dishes, together with the thing he is most proud of: his own, self-made wine.
After having left Peter and his wine behind, we will travel through the spectacular Aiud Gorges and reach Coltesti. The small village used to be one of the most important mining centers of Cluj region and is now famous for its cheese. We will get a chance to take some of this cheese with us and before returning to Cluj, we will stop in a superb panorama place, to celebrate Transylvania’s traditional cuisine: smoked pork pastrami, maturated in the Salt Mine of Turda, together with homemade bread and several kinds of Transylvanian cheese, all of them, with a glass of homemade palinka (plum brandy). Noroc!