S-a implinit un an de cand branza din Marginime, vedeta in paginile Washington Post

Zilele trecute s-a implinit un an de cand gustoasa branza din Marginimea Sibiului a ajuns… vedeta in paginile faimosului ziar american Washington Post.

Ei bine, în încercarea (reuşită, de altfel), de a descoperi Transilvania dincolo de Dracula, celebrul jurnalist John Martin Tylor vorbeşte în reportajul său atât despre impresia extraordinară la întâlnirea cu oamenii truditori şi iubitori de tradiţii din Mărginimea Sibiului, dar şi de bucatele gustoase care i-au potolit foamea pe parcursul unei recente călătorii în România. Mai cu seamă, jurnalistul american vorbeşte cu nesaţ de Sibiu- „un oraş fascinant, cu brânză bună”, amintindu-şi cu… poftă de brânza cumpărată din Piaţa Cibin de la o familie de ciobani din Răşinari, dar şi de popasul făcut în Muzeul Satului din Complexul ASTRA (în Dumbravă), unde, de asemenea a avut fericita ocazie de a se înfrupta cu bucate tradiţionale, pregătite cu sârg de gospodari din Mărginime.

Aşa… a luat naştere, la întoarcere, peste ocean, un articol ce relevă minunăţiile patriarhale de pe tradiţii. plaiurile Transilvaniei, binecuvântate de oameni destoinici şi plini de farmecul vechilor tradiţii.

Iată, însă, un fragment din articolul publicat în Washington Post care ne-a dus acest produs emblematic pentru tradiţiile din Mărginime peste ocean:

„In Transylvania, getting beyond Dracula

By John Martin Taylor, Published: March 16The Washington Post

It wasn’t the occult that drew me to Transylvania. It was a cookbook.

I’ve never read any of the “Twilight” series, nor a single word of an Anne Rice novel (though a friend did persuade me to see the film version of “Interview With the Vampire” when it was released in 1994). Bela Lugosi’s Dracula is the only vampire I’m familiar with. But as a culinary historian, I’ve been intrigued by Transylvania since 1985 and the release of the unusual cookbook “Paul Kovi’s Transylvanian Cuisine,” by the former owner and director of the Four Seasons in New York.

Transylvania: How to get there, where to stay, what to see and more

The book is unusual not only for its combination of history and folklore, poetry and sociology, but also for the cuisine of this melting pot in Central Europe, where Hungarians, Armenians, Saxon Germans, Romanians and Rroma make their home. Kovi had combed through 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century treatises and called on 10 of Transylvania’s best writers to help him evoke the bountiful table of this corner of Eastern Europe, which has always been shrouded in mystery and superstition.

As of late last summer, I’d been living in Bulgaria for three months, and although I’d traveled to many nooks and crannies of the Balkans, from the Black Sea to Macedonia, I hadn’t yet crossed the Danube into the land of Dracula.

But now I had a week to do just that, while my husband attended a conference. A part of Hungary and the Austro-Hungarian empire for more than 1,000 years, Transylvania is now a largely isolated portion of north-central Romania. The surrounding regions — Moldavia, Maramures, Wallachia and the Banat — were even more unknown and mystifying to me, but I planned to explore as much of this fabled land of mountains and castles as I could in my rental car.

I started in the historic city of Sibiu, which, like many places in Transylvania, is also called by its German name, Hermannstadt, and its Hungarian one, Nagyszeben. Bordered by the Carpathian Mountains to the south, Sibiu, with its multicultural history, was selected as a European Capital of Culture in 2007. Funds from the European Union poured in, and today the city, with its modern accommodations and restaurants and abundance of UNESCO World Heritage sites, is made for visitors.

Sibiu’s architecturally fascinating old town, situated on two levels, seems self-possessed, as though it were still the capital of Transylvania, as it was for 100 years in the 18th century. For most of the 18th and 19th centuries, the Habsburg emperors ruled in Transylvania, constructing, as they did in Vienna, grand public spaces and elaborate buildings meant to show the dynasty’s wealth and power. I’ve seen nothing as impressive as the city’s Piata Mare — the “large plaza” — in Bulgaria.

At the same time, the Saxons, a German-speaking group of northern Europeans who had settled in Transylvania beginning in the 12th century and built hilltop villages with fortified churches, also maintained their presence in Transylvania. Among the baroque Habsburg architecture in Sibiu, medieval Saxon homes sport eye-shaped dormer windows that seemed to follow me everywhere.”

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