Everything Food


The old times villagers’ breakfast, on bread baking day
The hungarian food speciality, the todays deep fried dough, was traditionally baked in the front of the clay or brick oven, close to the flames. This flat bread was served as breakfast on the days when new bread was baked for the family.

Due to it’s baking method, close to the flames, this food was named lángos, the hungarian word “láng” meaning “flame”.

The ingredients for the langos dough are flower, yeast, salt and water or milk. All these are worked together either by hand or by a kneading machine, then the dough is left leavened. This process creates the air bubbles in the langos.

Nowadays Lángos is prepaired by deep frying in fat or oil and is served fresh and warm, usualy with topping (honey, jam, grated cheese, sour cream, garlic sauce, sometimes even ham or sausages).

Langos is popular all year long and all over the Eastern European countries, known by different names such as: langoš (Czeck Republik, Slovakia, Croatia), languš or mekike (Serbia), langaš (Slovenia), mekitsi (Bulgaria), langosz (Poland) and langoș (Romania).

In Rimetea, you can taste the local lángos with different toppings, at the camper van near the local store, across the town hall. Enjoy!
Everything Food

Local cooking spice flavours

Love for herbs, spices and vegetables
The smell and taste of any food is mostly given by the spices you put in. Local villagers love to grow their own herbs, spices and vegetables they frequenty use for cooking delicious meals.

If you visit a garden in Coltesti, Rimetea or any other village from Trascau Valley, for sure you will find some onions, garlic, thyme, dill, horseradish, tarragon, carraway seeds, parsley, red pepper or paprika. The spices are not complete without bay leaves and cinnamon, although these two are mediterranean spices and they don’t grow in this region.

One of the most used vegetable in local hungarian villages is the onion. Bálint Tibor wrote in ”Erdélyi lakomában” (Transylvanian settlements), that if you remove the onion from the food consumption phyramid, the whole construction will fall. Most of the local cooking recipes start with chopping an onion into small pieces and frying it into hot fat or oil.

The villages among the Aries River are well known for their good production of onions, so if the onion production fails in the gardens of Trascau Valley due to unfortunate weather conditions, and it is not enough for the entire year, villagers can always buy onions in the neighbouring area.

Is the main ingredient for home made pork sausages. It is always grown in own gardens and if sometimes self production isn’t enough, villagers buy it on the market in Aiud or Turda.

Is is always used to spice up the pickled cabbage, blood sausages, innards sausages, pumpkin ragout, cabbage soup (lucskoskáposzta).

This is the Thyme twin spice. Usualy they are used together in different cabbage based foods. The green dill leaves, are often used in curd soup, dillsauce or curd pancakes. Dried dill leaves are used to pickels and lucskos cabbage. A good housewife always dry a quantity of thyme and dill form it’s own garden, so the supply will be enough for the entire cold season cooking.

It is loved for the chilly flavour and is commonly used as natural preservative for cabbage and cucumber pickels (keeps vegetables krispy). Sometimes horseradish is shredded and kept in vinegar for longer periods.

It’s leaves are usualy kept in vinegar and it is used for making the soups souerer (beans soup, tarragon souer soup). The plant grows healthier if, in spring, ashes are spread on the ground where it is planted. In Rimetea, it is said that only the one who planted the tarragon is allowed to take it’s leaves, otherwise the plant will die next year as it doesn’t like to be touched by strangers’ hands.

It is used both for the leaves and the root, for vegetable and chicken soups. Villagers often use the green leaves for boiled potatoes aseasoning.
Red pepper

Is the most well known vegetable in hungarian dishes. Dried and grounded, can be found as hot or sweet paprika. In Coltesti and Rimetea’s cooking receipes, the sweet paprika is used more often. Besides it’s good taste, it gives the dish an appetizing aspect. The paprika supply in Trascaului Valley villages comes from the homemade production in the settlements among Mures River. Once or twice a year, the ordered amount of paprika is brought to the housewifes.

There is not a house without this spice. It is used almost in every dish. In the past, villagers used to search in the stores for the small paperbags with pepper and buy larger quantities so they would be well prepaired for the time of saussage making in winter. Nowadays, pepper can be found in every little store, also in the villages, so there are no worries anymore.
Caraway seeds

Even though it can be grown in own gardens, local villagers prefer to pick up the wild carraway that can be found on the lands near Trascau Fortress. The wild plant has a stronger flavour and it is usually collected in August, while the seeds are still green. It is than tied up in a big bounch and hanged in the shadow. When dried out, the seeds are taken and stored for later use.

The caraway seeds are often used to make caraway soup, salty homemade sticks and crackers, but also tea for children’s stomachache. The seeds are sometimes used to make a type of pálinka, which is drank mostly by women, for it’s sweet flavoured taste.
Bay leaves

Mediterranian spice, it is used in hungarian cooking as dried leaves for potato soups, sauces, stews.

The traditional Somodi sponge cake can’t be baked without this spice. Even in old times, the villagers could somehow manage to buy cinnamon. It was used only for holiday cakes, and everyone enjoied both the smell and the taste of cinnamon.
Everything Food


Home made spirit drink
Your trip to Rimetea and Coltesti is not complete if you don’t try at least a glass of home made drink.

Altough “pálinka” has it’s origins in Hungary and it is protected as a geographical indication of the European Union, this spirit drink was and is still largely produced in most of the slavic countries. The name itself, “pálinka”, derives from the slavonic stem “paliti”, which means “to burn, to distill”.

The pálinka from Coltesti and Rimetea follows the same ritual as any distilled home made drink follows. What makes it different from other spirits is it’s flavour. Made out of good quality fruits, usually plums, apples, pears and sometimes apricots, quince and (sour)cherries, which are localy grown, the pálinka from Trascau Valley can be proudly presented as a no sugar addition spirit drink.

A popular hungarian saying says: “what can be used to prepare jam can also be used to produce pálinka”. So…every fruit is suitable for pálinka. Some villagers will tell you that if you really want to enjoy the fine smell and taste of the fruit, you should drink the pálinka at a temperature of 18–23 °C.

Also, pay attention to the form of the glass as for sure it will affect your drinking experience. The tulip-shaped glass is the best one, as the narrow neck will concentrate and magnify all the smell released from the larger bottom of the glass.  
A good home made pálinka has 50-55 % vol. alcohol, and it should not turn white when mixed with water.

In Coltesti and Rimetea, but also in the villages in Trascau Valley and across the whole country, people sell home made pálinka. If you are interested in buying some, look for the gates and fences where is written: ”Elado pálinka” in hungarian or ”Vând țuică” or ”Țuică de vânzare” in romanian, meaning pálinka for sale.
Everything Food


The traditional hungarian shepherd food
The name “gulyás” comes from hungarian language and it means neatherd, herdsmen, shepherd. “Gulya” means herd of cattle.

This delicious dish known as gulyas (goulash) can be traced back in time till the medieval period, when the hungarian neatherd in the Puszta (Pannonian Steppe) prepaired it on the open fire. At that time, the main ingredients were beef meat (as it was the only one they had) and as vegetables, lots of herbs and wild roots found while they grazed their herds of cattle.

Always on the move, the neatherds didn’t cook everyday, so the gulyas was a good way to keep food for few days. Because the beef meat and bones and the wild roots needed to be cooked for long time on the fire, in the end the gulyas had a thick and gelatinous consistency and it could be preserved for longer periods.

In time, the Gulyas spread over Central Europe and today this dish has many variations as soup and stew, in which different veggetables and meat are used. In old times, paprika, which nowadays is one of the main spices to seasone the gulyas, was not used until the 16th century, as well as the potatoes, which were unknown in the original receipe.

The most used ingredients in a good goulash prepaired in these days are: meat (beef, veal, pork, lamb) – shank, shin or shoulder – usualy cut into chunks, carrot, parsley root, celery, potatoes, onions, cayenne, red paprika, garlic, caraway seeds, bay leaf, thyme, salt, pepper, and stock to simmer the gulyas.