Gastronomy in Bucovina
Either you are a connoisseur or a beginner of gastronomy, your taste sense will be impressed by what is called the Bucovinean food. Bucovina kept intact, among traditions and customs, the culinary identity which, together with monasteries and landscapes, represents an attraction point on the list of the traveller who comes to Bucovina.
The great majority of tourists are interested in this land during the Christian holidays, respectively Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Eastern when a special attention is granted to the Bucovinean foods. Prepared merely with natural ingredients -usually from their own courtyards – with the pride of the homemaker who realizes that the quality of these ingredients influences the final product – the Bucovinean foods are made not only to calm your hunger but also to wake up your senses so you can ,,see” their taste and ,,feel” their aspect.
The Bucovinean Christmas‘ eve keeps the idea of preparing twelve types of fasting food (boiled and grinded wheat, smoked and boiled prune, boiled bean, grouts stuffed cabbage, chopped mushrooms with garlic, mushroom borsch, boiled beam and “sleita”), as well as fish food. The tradition of setting the table ,,in the big house” on top of which is put the best cloth (hand made) is preserved until nowadays enchanting the tourists that assist to this custom. Under the table cloth the host places grass, on the table a strain of red spin out wool, tied in the form of across, and garlic at the table’s corners. The middle of the table is reserved to round braided bread and around it twelve plates with the twelve dishes.
On the Christmas table we surely find: stuffed cabbage in cream nest, pork sausages with red beets and horseradish, trout in fir-three branches, chicken soup with home made noodles, vegetable stew with chicken or beef meat, pork stew (a traditional dish consisting in a combination of roasted pork sausages, roasted pork chop, sheep cheese, rnesh and polenta), polenta (peasant’s bread), with beef, sheep or goat cheese, on which it is added bacon and a glass of plum brandy. Also, the dishes made of forest mushrooms (boletus, heaving), mushrooms polenta, chicken steak with mushrooms, mushrooms pancakes, mushrooms vegetable stew and mushroom salad with peppers. For the dessert, the most famous is the Christmas cake, ,,poale’n brau” pies, pancakes or cheese donuts.
Related to drinks, the hosts have a wide variety of alcoholic aperitifs: cherry wine, blueberry wine, raspberry brandy. The traditional drink is the double distilled plurn brandy or palinca. An appreciated drink is also the home made beer the housewife prepares from hop and corn beams.
Easter in Bucovina brings a wide range of Bucovinean foods, where a special place is having the Easter pie (made from leaven, covered with a mixture of beef cheese, cream, eggs and sugar, decorated with a leaven cross and baked in round tray). The star of the traditional Easter meal is the lamb steak. We also surely find the red eggs. Tradition says that each family member must eat first an egg hallowed in the church (as the entire Easter food, too) and after the rest of the food can be eaten: lamb stock, lamb tripe cooked with green herbs, rosemary lamb in the oven, cake with Turkish delight.
The Bucovinean recipes are well kept in each family and are transmitted to the followers with great care, as if telling them to other persons would lead to their loss, to the loss of their quality. And even if, with the passing of time, the national cuisine added among its recipes, food recipes from other countries, the Bucovinean kitchen stayed faithful to the natural ingredients and ancient recipes which consecrated it. From the secrets of the traditional Bucovinean kitchen we also tell you the fact that its great taste is also due to the traditional tools used for cooking which keep intact the natural taste and did not alter it: wood spoons, wood tray, tin kettle, ceramic dishes. On top of all these, another ingredient is added, an ingredient that most of the people forget to add while preparing a meal: respect and love.