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Popular Romanian Food In A Nutshell

Jan 31, 2008
Popular Romanian food is made of sheep and goat milk products, which are the basis of veritable crafts, especially in the mountain areas (Bran, Sibiu, Vaideieni, Vrancea, Piatra-Neamt etc.)

Fermented ewe cheese

After curdling, the milk may be easily detached manually off the walls of the caldron and thoroughly crumbled in pea-size bits, for 10 minutes, in order to remove the whey, and then it is carefully stirred for another 5 minutes.

The next step is to add 5 litres of whey, warmed up to 40-42 C, for every 100 litres of milk in order to keep a constant 37 C temperature. Then the curd (the coagulated milk) is "gathered" carefully, for 10 minutes, with both hands in a big round conglomerate, under which a special bag is arranged. The result of work is placed on a special pot called crinta, under a small weight.

After 5 minutes, it is "broken" in egg-size pieces, and then the bag is tied and pressed for about 2 minutes. Another crumbling in pea-size bits follows, and then the bag is tied, exerting a uniform and moderate pressure for about 2 hours by using a thicker board made of beech or oak, and eventually, if necessary, a stone of a suitable size may be placed on top of it.

Regarding the clot, in the absence of the industrial solution (pepsin), the stomach of the 3-week-old sacrificed lambs is used, after adding milk and a lot of salt. After approximately 2-3 weeks, it is sectioned and the content is dissolved manually in about 2 litres of hot water and then it is filtered.

For the same purpose, the mucus of the pig stomach may be used, after being rubbed with a lot of salt, placed in a pot, covered with milk, and left for about two weeks in this condition, and then filtered and used.

Another popular Romanian food is barrel cheese, truckle cheese and cheese covered in fir-tree bark. After it has been pressed for 2 hours, the "green" or "sweet" ewe cheese is removed from the bag and it is placed for fermentation on a shelf in "ewe cheese room", which is a dark and cool room (12-14 C during summertime).

After 10-12 hours, the ewe cheese is minced by means of a mincing machine or it is kneaded with a "raval" which is a piece of carved beech wood, 5-6 cm thick, 60-70 cm long and 18-20 cm width, transversally chopped at small distances. The kneaded cheese is introduced by pressing in truckle, blister, barrel etc., after it has been previously shaped into well-kneaded fist-size balls, so that to completely remove the air from it. After each 8-10 cm sheet, a layer of slightly salted slices of fermented ewe cheese is inserted.

Soft cow cheese is another appreciated popular Romanian food.
The butter milk, which remains after the preparation of the "sweet ewe cheese", is boiled for about 1 hour at an 85-90 C temperature, and the precipitation of the rest of the protein takes place during this period of time.

During boiling, the whey is continuously stirred with a wooden spoon otherwise it sticks to the bottom of the caldron at gets "smoked".

Such popular Romanian food is, first of all, healthy and quite low in calories; therefore it can be served without hesitation in diets or on any possible occasions.
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