It is traditional in Moldova on the 2nd day after a wedding feast to enjoy zeama. With a delicious taste, it is considered to be a cure for any bad mood and even the chills during cold weather. This is why it earns the title – The queen of all soups. Actually, soups are very popular in our national cuisine. Some say a meal is not complete without soup. Zeama is a chicken noodle soup, slightly sour. Egg noodles have to be handmade and dried in the sun. Zeama is rich in vegetables and greenery, parsley, thyme, and green onions. Traditionally the base is poultry, but in some villages you may be surprised by pigeon!
The ultimate taste of zeama can be reached when all ingredients are homegrown. Therefore, we will sneak today in the chicken of Casa de Sub Stanca guesthouse, located in Trebujeni village. The local family will teach us the recipe of this delicious dish. Special attention to the noodles – they have to be thinner than a needle.
While zeama is bubbling in the pot, we have 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, and a museum at the site provides further information and exhibits.
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; some for years at a time, 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.
Our zeama should be ready, so we will return to Casa de Sub Stanca guesthouse. This soup is always served with a side of bread and salt, as is traditional on any Moldavian table. When eating zeama, you can dip in a cut-up hot pepper for a little spice and top the soup with a large dollop of sour cream.
After the lunch, we will offer you the chance to discover the unspoiled surroundings of Trebujeni village. The rocky landscape, shaped by Raut River are better to be explored on an off road vehicle. So, fasten your seatbelt and prepare for an adventures ride up the river until Piatra village. It is one of the best ways to discover the #2 off-the-beaten-path destination in the world.
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