Traditional cuisine in Moldova is famous for its wide variety of different dishes and delicious taste. One of the most appreciated and diverse culinary gem is placinta, a traditional pie made with cottage cheese, potatoes, cabbage, sour cherry, apple or pumpkin. Classic ingredients are mostly the same, but the actual taste, shape, colour and size will be as different as only a rich and diverse culture can be. Every region, every village, every household has its own way of making placinte. And they will swear by God that their method is the best and their placinte are the tastiest. And they are probably right. So, let’s learn today why this dish has won the hearts of Moldavians. We will be going to Butuceni guesthouse, after about one hour drive from Chisinau, to experience the placinta making on the traditional wood fire oven. A local housewife will teach you the whole cooking process – from making the dough till firing the oven.
Placinta will have to cook for a while, so we have plenty of time to explore one of the most beautiful places in Moldova – Orheiul Vechi. It is a cultural, historical and archaeological complex situated in a rocky gorge of the Raut River. This valley, shaped by the tireless river with a pristine natural landscape, features huge limestone outcroppings. There are several ancient monuments and buildings set in the valley, from various historical periods dating from the X century BC to the occupation of the Golden Horde in the XIV century. The Mongols have founded the Sehr al Djedid, the fortress which ruins you can wonder around today. Closer to the river waters you can find the ruins of an ancient Turkish bath. These ancient fortresses and early Christian monasteries are among the most unusual sights in all of Eastern Europe. However, most interesting of all is the haunting cave monastery, carved into limestone rock by monks in the XIII century. The monastery comprises a small chapel and little nooks where monks used to live, sleeping on stone slabs. From the narrow ledge outside the cave monastery, you will unveil a spectacular view, overlooking the river and the entire plains.
Time to get back to Butuceni guesthouse and taste our placinte. You will enjoy them with chicken soup & handmade noodles, mamaliga, and tasty veal stew. Of course, no traditional lunch goes without some refreshing homemade wine.
Our explorations will continue underground with Branesti Winery and its unique restaurant, which features a medieval atmosphere. Branesti Winery is located in the forest near Orheiul Vechi. It has over 50 km of underground galleries, reaching to depths of 60 m. The limestone subterranean restaurant and tasting rooms will open for you hidden and dimly lit corridors, shadow tunnels, stories and legends. The winery is decorated with wood and metal that reproduce images related to winemaking. Here you will enjoy a guided tour, tasting of dry white, red, and sparkling wines with local traditional snacks.
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Total tour price per person (EUR)
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