Courtyards & Food Culture
A courtyard garden is central to the way of life in the villages. Every household will grow a range of fruits, vegetables and livestock for their own consumption. Some of the produce is eaten fresh but much is preserved and stored in the cellar for the winter. Saschiz is the perfect base from which to explore this food culture - on foot, by car or by horse and cart.
- Vegetables are grown in enclosed gardens. Many are stored in the cellars or preserved by pickling. In summer the salads are fresh and full of flavour.
- Soft fruits are grown in the gardens , whereas stone fruits are in orchards behind the barns or individual trees in the courtyard. Many fruits are collected from the wild. Much of the fruit is made into jams and juices or used in baking.
- Vines are grown in every courtyard. The grape varieties are hardy enough to survive the severe winters. The wine is stored in the cellar and often served at the table in jugs straight from the barrel.
- Herbs are cultivated in courtyard gardens or collected from the wild. They are used in cooking, in refreshing teas, and are still extensively used medicinally for many ailments.
- Sheep are milked three times per day by hand and the milk turned into cheese by the shepherd.
- Pigs are reared in pens in the courtyards but often spend their early days in the summer meadows with the sheep.
- Poultry are totally free-range and hens and guinea fowl produce eggs with dark yellow yolks, ideal for breakfast or for baking. Geese, ducks and turkeys also roam freely.
- Cows graze communally in the village pastures by day. They are generally milked by hand morning and evening in the courtyards.
“Pork is generally eaten in the winter months, lamb at Easter, poultry during summer and mutton in autumn. King of the meats in Transylvania is pork”
Slow Food Tarnava Mare organise courtyard dining events each month throughout the summer and can sometimes arrange specials events for small groups of visitors to the area.
Meals with a family can be organised in many villages if booked in advance. Local cuisine is based on fresh ingredients with Saxon, Romanian, Hungarian and Turkish influences. See Slow Food Tarnava Mare on Facebook for details.
Traditional herbal tea, cakes, lunches and dinners can be arranged in some courtyards or provided as picnics