Charming Flavours from Oltenia
There are things you have to try if you get here, in Dolj. We could say that we got so lucky with our lands and imagination that we managed to have, here, some of the tastiest products, to charm the taste and the mind. Here are 5 of the most known.
1. The Zaibăr
For the fine connaisseurs of the wines, the zaibăr is a particular kind, that messes with you and takes you in a light trance. Bred in the sandy soils of Oltenia, the long, black grapes have their mother ship in the southern lands, especially in Băilești. Oily and black, this is a wine that carries you away quickly and that’s why you have to drink it responsibly. And it would be a shame if such a treasure would remain uncelebrated, so that’s why, every year, in Băilești, The Zaibar and Leek Celebration takes place; so you can drink and it as much as you can handle.
2. The Leek
Speaking of the devil, the leek for the people in Oltenia has become a true symbol. Some would say that it’s green onion or garlic, but we sure know better. His taste is completed by the multitude of vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc and many more. Not to miss if you come here in Dolj is the leek pie, the traditional leek stew with olives, even the leek soured soup, for those tough mornings. We also have leek pizza, made famous by PrazVegas pizza place in Craiova by Ciprian Ogarcă, winner of MasterChef.
3. The Crabs
When you say „crabs”, you think of the shellfish, obviously. To us, the people from Dolj, crabs mean something else. They are a kind of smaller and longer, lit red peppers, that people hang to dry in autumn near the roof of the house. Then, you fill them up all kinds of goodies and you put them in soups our you throw them on a bed of rice, in the oven. What we can say for sure is they are far better than many sofisticated dishes.
4. The Watermelon / Lubenița
The ones outside of Oltenia call it “red” or “green melon”, but for us it’s just “lubeniță”. Its production is very large in Dolj, and its home is no other than Dăbuleni, which hosts a festival for it: The Celebration of the Oltenian Watermelons. Moreover, like any brand that respects itself, the Dăbuleni watermelon is a registered trademark. The sweet, watery, fresh and breezy taste makes of it a wonderful dessert for the hot summer months. It’s like the ones who made lubenița knew that we will very much need it, and made it be ready exactly in the beginning of summer.
5. The Hot Orange Pepper
From this record of beautiful flavors we couldn’t leave out something naughty and hot. The hot orange pepper is a different kind of regalement, just because it’s not really hot, but it also has a special perfume and a different aroma. It goes without saying that it ennobles a good soup, gives more courage to a stew or turns pickles into a completely different experience.
After the top stars, there are various goodies you can eat here. The oltenian stew, the oltenian sausages, plus all the other dishes that here, in Dolj, are made differently. Vegetables and fruits are at home in Dolj, so in the summer and autumn it’s impossible not to feel like having a real culinary journey: from the "heart of ox" tomatoes that fall on the ground from their weight, to the plums that make the aromatic plum brandy or the corn that you have little to pick it yourself from the field, because there is so much.
Let there be appetite, because we already have the goodies!
Photos: blog.zaibar.ro, www.facebook.com/ROventuraKanalD, roaliment.ro, leniass.blogspot.com, libertatea.ro, facebook.com/primariaorasuluidabuleni