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Legends of 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 Pleşcoi.

Unfortunately, no 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!

Save the 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 chopped parsley.

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 lovage
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.

Vegetable omlet
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 15 minutes.
Boyar’s fleas
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.

Baked cabbage
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 salvia, pepper
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.

Romanian pizza
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.

Cezarika’s hotchpotch
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 with cream.

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.




Cârnatul de Pleșcoi
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