Typical Foods of Transylvania
You've finally decided to visit Transylvania, and you’re wondering how to get access to the authentic traditional feel of the region.
Since we are here to help you make the best of your travels, we’ve shared up next to the top typical foods in Transylvania you have to try at least once during your stay. Let’s see what food lovers can enjoy here.
Smoked Novac from Barsa County (or `Novac afumat din Ţara Bârsei`)
One of the most iconic dishes you will discover in Transylvania is this smoked Novac.
This is a smoked carp fish from the area known as Barsa County or Ţara Bârsei. The fish, if filleted, salted, and smoked for several weeks, all according to a traditional local recipe.
An interesting thing about this smoked fish is that it gets its unique taste from a mix of sawdust and celery, which is spread all over the fish with the aid of an air compressor.
When the smoking process is done, the fish is cleaned and stored on parchment paper. And its taste will entice your tasted buds no matter if you love fish dishes or not.
It has a delightfully smoky, slightly salty taste, along with a lot of sweetness due to the water in which the fish lives.
There are plenty of cheese specialties in the area you must give a try. But our personal favorite is Năsal, a Transylvanian cheese produced in a village near Cluj.
It has a soft and creamy consistency, being made from cow milk. Yet what makes this type of cheese stand out is the fact that it is smear-ripened in caves, which in turn provides a deep and earthy flavor.
Keep in mind that the Năsal cheese is usually available in small batches.
Cooked cabbage Cluj specialty or “Varză a la Cluj“
No matter where to Transylvania you are traveling to, you will discover in most restaurants this type of dish. It is an authentic traditional meal from Transylvania, which was firstly served in Cluj County. It is made out of sour cabbage, minced meat, and rice. Also, many variations of this recipe include a topping with a mix of sour cream and milk.
Kneaded Cheese or “Brânză de burduf“
This is another special cheese you will only find in Transylvania. In most cases, it is made from sheep or buffalo milk. And the exciting part about it is that the sheep’s stomach is used to pour in the cheese and allow it to mature. As a result, this cheese gains a soft texture, along with an intense aroma. It is a typical appetizer served with a glass of red wine.
Sibiu Salami or “Salam de Sibiu“
Made based on a 100 years old recipe, Sibiu Salami gained a lot of popularity worldwide. It stands out since it has to be matured for at least 90 days so that it gains a specific flavor and a distinctive white covering. It has a unique taste of smokiness mixed with delicate garlic touches.
Enjoy our Transylvanian food recommendations paired with local wines or brandies of choice - learn about some of our favorites here.