Țuica – the Traditional Romanian Beverage

© www.evz.ro , Producing fig țuica in Șvinița village - Romania

Țuica is a traditional Romanian beverage, made from plums as plum trees are the most common fruiters in Romania. It contains 45 – 60 % alcohol by volume and is prepared using traditional methods. For its widespread consumption and being a traditional beverage, the Romanian government published an official article with the legal terms of producing țuică (in 2008).
Prepared from early October to early December (the process must be over until Christmas) from plums fermented in large barrels, the distillation must be done in a still boiler, using traditional fire source (like wood). After distillation, țuica is bottled in oak barrels and may be served immediately (“fresh țuică”) or after years (“old țuică”). Depending on the distillation phases and the temperature reached, țuica may receive different names: the first grade is named in Romanian “frunte”, the normal grade – “vodcă” (20-30 % alcohol) and very strong țuică (distilled twice with a maximum of 60 % alcohol in volume) – palincă. Palinca received the name “horincă” in Maramureș area (north of Romania), “labelling” the double-distilled plum brandy. “Vinul ars” (strong alcoholic beverage obtained from aging distilled wine) and “rachiul” (beverage obtained from cereal grain or fruits, other than plums – fruit brandies) are also traditional Romanian spirits. But țuica has one more famous type: “țuica cu fruct” (țuică with one fruit in the bottle, generally a pear or an apple), celebrating the varieties of Romanian traditions.
Consumed before meals in shots (as it is too strong for sipping), this beverage is an important part of every traditional meal in Romania, religious holidays or celebrations like weddings, baptisms, harvest festivals etc. Despite its strength, plum țuica is an adjuvant in some health problems (liver, heart, stomach). Consumed moderately, the traditional drink can help in anemia issues.
The new kind of Romanian beverage is țuica made from figs (marvelous drink from Mehedinți county, where fig trees are the most common). Yearly, every ending August is the time for celebrating fig trees with traditional products as fig țuica or fig jam. These delicious Romanian brands may be served in Șvinița village, Mehedinți county.

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