Pleşcoi – from Napoleon to the Serbian greengrocers
Like all truly
great things, the Pleşcoi sausages have a legend of their own. Not one, but
several. Two of them are worth mentioning, with the specification that no one
knows the actual truth.
The first legend
tells that the Pleşcoi were merely hand-made mutton sausages, hot and smoked,
made in the households on the Buzău valley … Until one day, Napoleon, in his
retreat from the disastrous campaign of Russia, is believed to have rested one
night in Buzău, in the home of a landowner, who served the emperor what he
thought he had best …local plum brandy, „babic” and Pleşcoi sausages. Napoleon
loved so much the sausages that he took, for the road home, several kilos of
matter how flattering such a legend would be, we see ourselves obliged to
mention, first of all, that from all the known French guys, Napoleon is famous
for … his lack of taste in gastronomy. Second, unfortunately, none of the
sources (more or less credible) even mention the possibility that Napoleon could
have passed through the territory of the present Romania on his return from
Russia, nevertheless through the home of a landowner from Buzău.
The second story,
which seems somehow more believable, says that the Pleşcoi sausages recipe
belongs to the Serbian greengrocers who settled in the area in the 19th century,
and who brought the recipe for the “babic” sausages (for the connoisseur, there
is no tasteful “babic” than the one in Buzău). Dissatisfied with the taste of
local mutton, which differed a lot from the one back home, the Serbians decided
to strongly spice the sausages, to smoke them and dry them to the consistence of
a plank of wood, in order to be able to eat them.
No matter which is the real origin, a fact is known for certain: the Pleşcoi
sausage is a product unlike any other found on the Romanian territory, with a
taste (and shape) identity that cannot be ignored, a relish worthy of the most
pretentious gurmet. Probably, the high-life stomachs will shrink at the idea
that a smoked really hot mutton sausage could be “pretentious” food.
But surely, the ones for whom a tasteless strict diet is a distant nightmare,
know what I mean.
So, I insist, with an impulse: Save Vama Veche, save whatever you want, but
don’t forget about the traditional Romanian products, which were brouht by
transition poverty or poor industrialization on the brink of extinction!
sausage! Save the Pleşcoi sausage!
Potato salad with Pleşcoi sausages
Ingredients: 500g white potatoes, 8 Pleşcoi sausages, 1spoon of olive oil, 2
spoons of mustard beans, 1 spoon of white wine vinegar, salt and black pepper
Peparation: In salted cold water place the potatoes for boil. Cover the pot and
let it boil in steam for 15 minutes. Sloop the water, pass the potatoes through
cold water and then peel the skin off. Meanwhile, in another pot, heat one spoon
of the olive oil and fry the Pleşcoi sausages; cut them in pieces.
To prepare the dressing mix 4 spoons of olive oil, 2 spoons of mustard beans and
the spoon of white wine vinegar, salt and blackpepper in a tight closed jar;
shake the jar to mix the ingredients. Pour the dressing on the mixed potatoes
and Pleşcoi sausages. Add a few sliced bunch onions, and 3 spoons of freshly
Sour potato soup with Pleşcoi sausages
Ingredients: 10 Pleşcoi sausages, 4 medium potatoes, 1 big onion, 1 carrot,
250ml of cream, 1spoon of Vegeta (mixed spices), 2 cloves of garlic, 1 bundle of
Preparation: Put in a Teflon pan the sausages thinnely sliced. Cover the pan and
let the fat of the sausages melt. Add the chopped onion and the grated carrot.
Cover and leave the pan on a low flame, stirring from time to time, until the
onion becomes transparent. Add the Vegeta and the square-cut potatoes, and cover
them with water. Use the low flame until the potatoes are boiled, after which
add the crem, the crushed garlic and the lovage, until it bubbles again.
Ingredients: 8 Pleşcoi sausages, 2 red peppers, 2 leeks, 200 g corn beans (a
can), 8 small eggs, salt pepper, sweet paprika, butter
Preparation: Peel the peppers and the leeks and then wash them. Cut the peppers
strips and the leek. Sloop the corn beans in a sieve. Cut the sausages in thin
slices. Mix the eggs and spice them with salt, pepper and paprika. Heat the
butter, put in the red peppers, the leeks and the corn, cover with a lid and let
it bake for ten minutes. Add the sausages, fry them a bit and then put all the
contents on a plate. Pour the eggs in the pan and then sprinkle the vegetables
and the sausages. Leave on low flame for 15 minutes the covered pan.
Pleşcoi sausages with cheese and corn mush
Ingredients: 500g Pleşcoi sausages, 300g sheep cheese, maize, 2 eggs, 100g
cream, oil, salt
Preparation: Make a semi tender corn mush from maize, water and salt. Cut the
sausages in thick slices and fry them until they are parched. Place half of the
corn mush on the bottom of a tray, them a layer of sausages and cheese, another
layer of corn mush and the rest of the sausages and cheese. Heat the oven, leave
the tray in for 15 minutes, pour the eggs with the cream and leave for another
Ingredients: 500g corn mush, 100g/6 pieces of Pleşcoi sausages, 300g cheese,
150g “jumări”(melted bacon), 100g lard or butter, pepper
Preparation: Mash the corn mush with a fork and pour it in a pan with heated
lard. Stir permanently until the corn mush becomes crumbly and then add the
thinnely sliced sausages and the grated cheese.
Baked chesse potatoes and Pleşcoi sausages
Ingredients: 500g potatoes, 100g sausages, 100g salty cheese, 100g pressed
cheese, 100g cream, 2 eggs, pepper, salt
Preparation: Boil the 1 cm slices of potatoes, with salt. Grate the salty cheese
and the pressed one. Slice the sausages and mix with the cheeses, the cream and
the eggs. Put the potatoes in a pan, pour the mix over them and bake for 30
minutes using a medium flame.
Ingredients: 1,5 kilos of cabbage (a medium cabbage), 200g Pleşcoi sausages,
200g tomato sauce, 1 bundle of dill, 2 leaves of laurel, pepper, salt, savory
Preparation: Chop the cabbage and rub it with salt. Cut the sausages into
slices, chop the dill. Put all the ingredients in a pot. Cover with water and
put it in the oven at a high temperature. Check from time to time if there is
sufficient water for boil. After it is boiled leave for 45 minutes in the oven
until the water evaporates.
Pastes with Pleşcoi sausages
Ingredients: 200g penne or fusilli pastes, 200g Pleşcoi sausages, 50-60 g
cream, 2 spoons olive oil, grated parmigiano, salt
Preparation: Put some water for boil and when it bubbles add salt and the
pastes. Put in a pan the oil and the slices Pleşcoi sausages, stirring
permanently with a wooden spoon. When the sausages are a bit fried, add the
cream and let it boil, at a medium flame, stirring permanently. After 7-8
minutes take the slooped pastes and pour them over the sauce. Sprinkle some
parmigiano. Leave for 1-2 minutes at medium flame, for homogenising.
Beans and Pleşcoi sausages
Ingredients: 500g white dried beans, 300g Pleşcoi sausages, 500g peeled
tomatoes, 1 rosemary, 3 cloves of garlic, 5 spoons of cruet, 4 threads of dried
Preparation: Let the beans soak in water the night before. The next day let it
boil in 1l of fresh water with the rosemay and ½ spoon of salt. It has to boil
for 1 and ½ hours, at a low flame. Sloop the beans. Peel the garlic and cut it
in thin slices. Heat the cruet in a big pan. Fry the garlic and the chopped
salvia leaves. Add the tomatoes and fry them for a very short while. Add the
beans, salt, pepper and stir well together with the tomatoes. The fried sausages
are added on the plate.
Ingredients: 1/2kg potatoes, 3 eggs, 10 Pleşcoi sausages, 150g melted
cheese, salt, pepper
Preparation: Fry the slices of potatoes in a pan lesser then for French fries,
sloop them of oil. Cut the sausages in medium slices and fry them too. Sloop the
sausages too. Mix the eggs. Very little oil must remain in the pan: arrange the
potatoes on the bottom, the sausages on top and pour the eggs. Leave in the
oven, medium flame, until the eggs harden. Remove from the oven and grate the
melted cheese on top, add salt and pepper.
Rice stew and sausages
Ingredients: 10-12 sweet peppers, 400g Pleşcoi sausages, ½ kg tomatoes, 150g
rice, 1 big onion, 100g lard, salt
Preparation: In a pan eith 50g of heated lard, fry the thinnely chopped onion.
Heat the rice in the rest of the lard and add over the onion. Add the sliced
sweet peppers, the squared sliced tomatoes, the sliced Pleşcoi and salt too. On
top, pour enough water to cover all the ingredients. Put the pan in the oven and
boil until the rice is ready.
Ingredients: 150g sweet peppers, 150g Pleşcoi sausages, 50g smoked bacon, 8
quail eggs, 150g tomatoes, 100g mushrooms, 50g green peas, 10g sweet paprika, 1
clove of garlic, salt
Preparation: Cute the swwet peppers, the mushrooms and the tomatoes. Leave the
Pleşcoi for a minute in salted vboiled water in order to remove their skin. Cut
them in rondes. Put the quail eggs in boiled water and leave for 5 minutes, cool
them and remove the shell. Cut the smoked bacon in squares, chop the onion and
crush the garlic.
Melt the smoked bacon and fry the onion in it. Add the sweet peppers, salt, fry
for 4- 5 minutes, sprinkle with sweet paprika. Stir and cool the mix with 100ml
of water, boil until the water evaporates. Add the mushrooms and after a few
minutes the green peas, the garlic, the tomatoes, the quail eggs and the
sausages and cover. Leave another ten minutes or so checking from time to time.
Sour soup with Pleşcoi sausages
Ingredients: 500g Pleşcoi sausages, 1 onion, 1 sour cabbage, 2-3 carrots, 1
root of parsley, dill, savory, tomato sauce
Preparation: Cut the peeled carrots and parsley and put them for boil. Add the
peeled on chopped onion and the slices sausages. When it bubbles, add the
chopped cabbage, the dill and the savory. If necessary add tomato sauce. Serve
Potato pudding with Plşcoi
Ingredients: 1 kilo potatoes, 300-350g Pleşcoi sausages, 4 eggs, 200g melted
cheese, salt pepper, fine chopped parsley, 1 spoon margarine
Preparation: Wash the potatoes and boil them with the skin on. Peel the skin and
grate them. Mix with the eggs, the grated melted cheeseand the margarine. Spice
after your own taste and add the parsley. Take a temperature-resistant pot and
anoint with margarine. Arrange the sliced Pleşcoi on the bottom and add the
potato mix. Put in the oven, medium flame.
Spicy goulash with Pleşcoi
Ingredients: 1 kilo of potatoes prepared for frying, 400g Pleşcoi sausages,
2 stalks of leek, 150g corn beans, 1 spoon butter, 1 spoon flour, 200ml of meat
concentrate (Knorr + water), 200g cream, 2 spoons of mustard, 2 spoons of
ketchup, salt pepper, cruet
Preparation: Fry the potatoes in the heated cruet, sloop and keep warm. Slice
the sausages and the leek. Leave the corn beans in a strainer and let them
sloop. Melt the butter in a pan, sprikle some flour and lt it roast. Cool with
the meat concentrate and let it boil for about 8 minutes. Spice the sauce with
mustard, ketchup, salt and pepper. Add the leek and the corn beans and then the
slices of sausages. Leave the goulash heat and serve with French fries.
Cauli-flower with Plescoi
Ingredients: 1 cauli-flower (separated on clusters), 5-6 Plescoi sausages
thinnely sliced, 2 thinnely chopped leeks
Preparation: Boil the cauli flower, for a little until it softens. Let it cool a
while. Meanwhile, fry the sausages, add the leeks, the cauli-flower salt and
pepper. Fry the mix for 2 minutes stirring permanently.