Honey is perhaps the most symbolic product of the traditional hay meadows, which contain many rare and endangered species. In recent years, most of this honey has been exported in bulk for blending but honey of this quality is highly sought after in many parts of Europe where such meadows no longer exist. This honey is now bottled for local and export sales. Meet the Bees is an opportunity to find out how honey is produced, fully protected in a full-length bee suit! Forest and other speciality types of honey are also available in some years.
Jams are a local speciality and are made from wild, orchard and garden fruits. Typically they are high in fruit, low in sugar, full of flavour and contain no other additives. Wild or forest fruits include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, rose-hips and cornelian cherries. Orchard fruits include apples, pears and plums.
Cordials are traditionally produced from elder flower, acacia flower and other wild fruits. The Transylvania Food Company produces a range of cordials and are the Romanian distributors for the Bottlegreen Drinks Company, importing their elder flower cordial and sparkling elder flower presse, which have been made from elder flowers picked and semi processed in Saschiz.
Savoury products such as zacusca made with tomatoes and peppers, and smoked aubergine or salata de vinete are also made from courtyard produce; chutney, a spicy condiment made of fruits or vegetables with vinegar, spices and sugar, originating in India but also made by the Saxon community pre 1945; and sauces such as our plum ketchup, an innovative use of local ingredients.
Many of these courtyard farmers are totally self sufficient but need a route to market to encourage them to produce a surplus and generate income. Several business models were developed to make the activities sustainable. Pivnita Bunicii the brand of the Transylvania Food Company, buys local produce at fair prices and creates employment opportunities for some of the producers.
“Experience the flavour and purchase jam, honey and cordials at the production premises of the Transylvania Food Company. Our Taste Experience costs Ron10 per person, groups should book in advance.
Our shop is open from 0900 to 1700 seven days per week during the summer and in addition to our products, stocks a range of local crafts”