In Banpotoc, John and Andrea introduced us to their neighbours Auntie Tuta and Uncle Costi. Costi brought out his precious bottles of tsuika and afinata. Tsuika is a brandy that’s most often made with fermented plums. Afinata is a berry liquor (in this case, blueberry). Tuta brought out non-alcoholic beverages and popcorn. So there we found ourselves, sitting at a table in their courtyard, trying to understand Romanian under the amused gaze of a mother duck and her 12 ducklings.
Costi comes out her precious bottles of tuica and afinata. The tuica is a water of life the majority of time at base of fermented plum and the afinata is a liqueur of berries (in this specific case of the Blueberry). Tuta bring soft drinks and popcorn. We are seated in their backyard to try to understand the Romanian under the eye entertained a cane and her 12 ducklings.
This is the only Latin language in the midst of all these Slavic countries, which helped us understand a few words and sometimes even the overall meaning of a phrase. Fortunately, Elena interpreted when they spoke to us. Costi wanted to show us his farm and we followed him for the grand tour.
We went by full chicken coops, dozens of ducks, and finally, the rabbit enclosure! But we were intrigued by the handmade tsuika tank. Nenea Costi explained how he puts the macerated fruit in the first tank that he then boils. The alcohol evaporates, passes through the copper still, and arrives in the cooling tank where it liquefies. 120 L of fruit produce 17 L of tsuika at 40%! After the distillery, we went to the garden where he showed us his tomatoes, beans, cabbage, peppers, beets, and potatoes that he proudly dug up.
The tour ended with a walk through the tall, beautiful barn that smelled of wood and dried hay. He brought us back to the table arm in arm and served us more tsuika. Now that we knew how he makes it, we had to taste it again!
Auntie Tuta and Uncle Costi will make you feel good with their smiles, their looks, the way they take you into their arms. We’d heard about Romanian hospitality and now we’d experienced a complete demonstration of it.
[On the road, at the45°53’39.8″N and 23°00’47.5″E]