The Suciu family

by admin on 21/06/2012

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Having visited Rozalia, we crossed the street in order to visit Elena and her husband Adrian Suciu. They have about 200 goats and they produce various types of goat cheese which they mix with one of the following:

  • nuts
  • pepper
  • caraway
  • green pepper
  • mint
  • basil

The goats reside close to Crit and having gone to the outskirts of the village, then followed a very bumpy road for a few minutes, we arrived at an enclosure with the goats. The system for milking was the same as we had seen for the sheep, that is a small enclosure from which the animals can only exit through two small holes in the wall of a shed. There, Adrian and a worker milked each goat by hand while a young boy made sure that there were always goats ready to enter the shed.

Having milked the goats twice daily, Adrian brings the milk by car to a small dairy next to their house. Having just arrived with the milk, they pour it into a large container through a filter. Heating the milk up to about 40°C, adding rennet in order to separate the whey from the cheese mass, the cheese mass is lifted up into plastic moulding forms which are placed in a container with a sink such that the whey can be collected in a another container. In the beginning, they have to turn the cheeses around every 10 minutes both to the get rid of the whey and to let the cheeses keep their shapes. After some time, salt is added both to put taste to the cheese and to get rid of more of the whey.

They also made sour cream by pouring some of the milk into a small container on top of a separator. Then, skimmed milk was running down one side of the separator, while sour cream was running down another one, both being collected in separate containers.

Adrian also made a cheese called ricotta which means recooked in Italian. The whey from just one production was brought outside in a large pot and hung from a horizontal bar. Then, he made a fire below the pot and stirred they whey more or less continuously in order to avoid burning of the remaining cheese in the whey. After some time, a foam started appearing on the top of the whey which he removed carefully by means of a sieve. A little bit later, the cheese mass started thickening and Adrian used a sieve to pick it up and pour into another container through a porous cloth. In this way, the ricotta would remain on top of the cloth, while the whey would end up in the container. Afterwards, the cloth was tied around the ricotta and hung up to the let the whey exit.

In addition to helping her husband make cheese, Elena also makes lots of jams and sweet fruit juices. She makes the following jams:

  • apricot
  • elder fruits
  • cornelian cherries
  • wax cherry
  • plums
  • plums with nuts and cinnamon
  • morello cherry
  • rose hip
  • wild strawberry

She makes the following fruit jiuces:

  • blackberry
  • acacia flowers
  • bitter cherry

The products of the Suciu family are for domestic consumption, tourists and various markets in Romania.

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