Saxon Village Preserves Presidium, Romania
The Siebenburgen, the seven villages of Transylvania, have been inhabited by the Saxons for eight centuries. With the end of Communist rule in 1989, many of the villagers abandoned their lives in Romania and returned to Germany. Today, the Siebenburgen are a kind of lost paradise, a still-surviving piece of the Middle Ages in one of the most unspoilt natural environments in Europe, inhabited by Romanians, Saxons, Hungarians and Roma.
The local women use fruit from their gardens or wild berries from the forest to make an extraordinary variety of jams, like wild strawberry, rhubarb, rosehip and apple and cinnamon. The recipes are simple: fruit, sugar, sometimes a little natural pectin made from unripe apples, cooked briefly over a low fire.
The Presidium was founded thanks to Slow Food's collaboration with the Fundatia ADEPT, which promotes sustainable and responsible rural tourism in the Saxon villages. Once solely a domestic activity, the jam-making now generates income; since 2011 the producers have joined the Transylvania Food Company, a social cooperative which promotes local products and reinvests the proceeds in activities that support local enterprise.
- provide technical assistance for drawing up protocols for individual types of preserves
- produce communication material to promote the product and its place of origin
Saxon villages, Transylvania
15 women producers, for a total of around 50 people
Total estimated costs for 2012-2013