A Geographical and Historical Overview of the Transylvanian Cuisine

  • Adriana Paucean USAMV Cluj
Keywords: Transylvanian Cuisine, culinary habits, gastronomic culture


The aim of this essay is to describe the Transylvanian cuisine, based on its historical and geographical characteristics, but also, deeply connected to all the other elements that have a thing to say in its definition. Therefore, we will be able to better understand the gastronomic culture in this area and its potential. Geographically speaking, the region in the Carpathian garden is characterized by mountains, meadows and especially hills. The variety of nature’s forms, the moderate climate and the rich hydrographic network are defining elements to the vegetation and fauna of this place. The Transylvanian villages are filled with people who are deeply connected to the nature around them. Any visitor that connects with the daily life here can observe the big number of inland products obtained in personal farms or yards. A prosperous land reveals its numerous types of vegetable and fruit. A Christian nation for as long as it has existed, the Romanians use a variety of dishes at every Christian festal occasion. Therefore, the Orthodox Church has also influenced the culinary tradition in this area. Transylvania’s specific cuisine has its special traits, but it is also influenced by other cultures, whose route somehow intersected with ours, such as: Hungarians, Saxons, Jewish people, Ukrainians or Slovaks. Another trait that needs to be mentioned is the fact that our alimentary tradition is deeply connected to the season we are in. After the body gets a lot of meat and fats during winter, it gets purified during spring and summer when more fruits and vegetables are consumed. The most common gastronomic techniques in the Transylvanian cuisine are: marinating, maturation, fumigation, salting- procedures that use the natural potential and eliminate the use of the chemical additives. In conclusion, we can consider the Transylvanian cuisine one of the most important parts of the multicultural heritage.