The Bessarabian Placinda of the Frumushika Valley is about to get the status of intangible cultural heritage
Placinda, one of the most popular traditional dishes of Bessarabia, applied for the status of intangible cultural heritage. The decision to grant this status will be made at the end of autumn 2021 by the commission of the National Register of Ukraine under the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine. This was reported by experts of the eco-tourist route "Tarutinskaya Steppe".
The new status of the famous dish will help the Borodino and Petropavlovsk communities of the Odessa region raise funds for new cultural projects related to creating modern multifunctional museums and festivals. In turn, this leads to the development of tourism and the creation of employment.
Placinda is a recipe from Moldovan and Romanian cuisines. This dish looks like a round, less often square, stuffed flatbread. Moldavian placindas are usually made from stretched dough, less often from yeast and puff pastry. The filling is placed inside the cakes, and the edges are pinched end-to-end and overlapped. The most popular fillings for placinda are potatoes, cottage cheese, pumpkin, apples, and even meat.
With regards to the etymology of the word "placinda", it resembles the Latin word "placenta": pie. By the way, the word "placinda" has the same ancient origin. This means that this dish was prepared in very ancient times when the territory of modern Romania was part of the Roman Empire. And in Rome, this dish, or very similar to it, came from Ancient Greece. But now, for us it is a truly Moldovan dish.
The tradition of cooking and the culture of consuming placinda in the Frumushika Valley is inherent not only to ethnic Moldovans but also to representatives of other nationalities. Thus, it unites the Bolgradsky and Belgorod-Dnestrovsky regions of the southwestern part of the Odessa region. The Frumushika Valley is small in size: its area is about 80 square kilometers. It originates northwest of the village of Semisotka and ends within the town of Vasilyevka. Geographically, there are four settlements in the valley: Frumushika-Nova, Novye Kaplany, Vasilyevka, and Semisotka.
Exploring the traditions that exist in these settlements, experts note the commonality in the forms of care and maintenance of sheep, the traditions of accounting and distribution of milk, the technology of making sheep cheese, and the dishes prepared by local housewives. The characteristic features of the placinda preparation technology inherent in the entire Frumushika Valley are traced.
The culture of preparation of the Bessarabian placinda consists of a recipe, a technology for its preparation, which is determined by the preparation methods and storage of its constituent ingredients.
The most common composition of ingredients and the technology of preparation of the Bessarabian placinda:
- kneading a dough (water, flour, egg, salt);
- allowing the dough to rest for 15-20 minutes;
- preparation of fillings.
Salty fillings options:
- brynza cheese (sheep or cow) is grated (finely chopped dill may be added);
- cabbage is washed, cut into small thin strips and stewed in a pan, adding finely chopped onions, salt, and a tablespoon of vinegar;
- peel raw potatoes and onions, chop thinly, add black pepper and salt.
Sweet toppings options:
- apples are washed, cleaned, rubbed (sugar is added before use);
- the cherries are washed, pitted, the juice is drained, and sugar is added before use;
- pumpkin is washed, peeled and seeds removed, finely chopped or grated, sugar is added.