Ţuică


Ţuică

Ţuică (in Romanian IPA|/'ʦuj.kə/, sometimes spelled tuica, tzuika, tsuika, tsuica, or tzuica), is a traditional Romanian alcoholic beverage, usually made from plums.

"Țuica" is officially, after the Romanian standards for drinks, the name for the drink prepared only from plums. Other drinks prepared from fruits, cereals, etc. are called "rachiu". Also the term "palincă" for strong "ţuica" is not agreed by the official nomenclature published by ASRO in standards.

Preparation

Traditionally, ţuică is prepared from early October until early December (after winemaking is complete). The process must generally be finished before Christmas, as not to leave unfinished business for the next year. If using plums, they must be left for fermentation ("macerare") for 6-8 weeks, in large barrels ("butoaie" or "căldări").

According to both tradition and Romanian standards (SR) distillation must be done in a brass still ("cazan", pictures at [http://www.tuica.go.ro/images/Poze/DSC05410.jpg] ), using a traditional fire source (generally wood, but also charcoal). Distillation can be done inside a specially built barn (this is practiced especially in Oltenia and Wallachia) or outdoors, usually on a hill, (in Transylvania).

The temperature is controlled traditionally by interpreting the sounds that the still makes and by tasting the brew at different points in the process. Usually, this process results in three grades of ţuică:

*very strong (or "ţuică de-a-ntâia") - usually distilled twice, generally a quarter of the production, and the first to come out of the still - about 55-65% alcohol by volume, fairly similar to palinka; This is considered toxic due to the impurities from the distillation process (from the fruit or from the inner walls of the boiling tank) and is generally kept as sanitary alcohol.
*normal (or "ţuică de-a doua"), the common grade of ţuică, about one half of the production, and what most Romanians would recognize as proper ţuică - about 40-50% alcohol by volume; and
*weak (known as "ţuică de-a treia" or "apă de ţuică"), the last to come from the still, between 5-15% alcohol.

After distillation, ţuica may be left to age between six months and ten years in oak aging barrels (the result is pearlescent yellow, has a strong aroma, and is known as "old ţuică", "ţuică bătrână"), or it may be consumed immediately ("new ţuică", "ţuică proaspătă"). The people preparing ţuică are sometimes referred to as ţuicari, căzănari, cazangii, but this varies depending on geographical regions. Mixed with water, ţuică should never turn white or opaque. Old ţuica is not so good, unlike wineFact|date=July 2008.

Brands

Most ţuică is moonshine, prepared using traditional methods, both for private consumption and for sale. Although this is illegal, the government tolerates these practices, and does not consider this bootlegging, due to the nature of the drink. Most ţuică is sold in markets, fairs and even on the road edges, bottled in unlabeled PET bottles. Some communities have acquired production licences and legally produce and bottle țuică.

One of the most famous types is made from the plums that grow on the hills surrounding the town of Piteşti: "Ţuica de Piteşti", also known in the later decades as "Ochii lui Dobrin" ("Dobrin's Eyes"), after Nicolae Dobrin, a gifted football player from the 1970s, whose resounding on-pitch talent was matched only by his drinking abilities.

Another famous type is "ţuica cu fruct". This is basically a glass bottle of "old ţuică" containing a whole fruit (usually an apple or a pear). This is obtained by hanging empty bottles on trees in spring or early summer, and growing the fruit inside the bottle.

The generic term "ţuică" comprises the plum brandies (jinars, horincă, cocârţ, tura). A specific nomenclature was created for the drink, comprising varieties such as old, selected, superior etc.

There is no literal term for the word Ţuică , its use depends on region. But technically this is a simple classification:

- Țuică = generic term for this strong drink- Palincă = drink made from plums Horincă = drink made from apples or pears

Consumption

Normally, ţuica is only consumed before the meal (traditionally every meal), usually alongside some telemea cheese and tomatoes and onions. In most cases, only a shot is served as it's too strong to be sipped. The drink is also present in all traditional parties ("agape") such as weddings, baptisms, hunting parties, harvest festivals, religious holidays, family reunions, and wakes. In most of rural Romania, ţuică is the usual drink to hold a toast with, rather than wine, which is almost always consumed towards the end of the party. Usually it is drunk before meal, as it increases appetite.

A modern portrayal of a modern village inhabitant almost always includes a bottle of ţuică. Production of ţuică can amount to up 5 kilolitres per family per year, as the plum tree is the most widely present tree in Romanian orchards. According to the 2002/2003 census, 143,167 farms had plum trees bearing fruit covering a total area of 554 km². According to the same census, about 75% of the crop ends up as ţuică.

ee also

*Palinka, a Transylvanian and Hungarian drink, very similar to ţuică. Unlike ţuică, palinka is always distilled twice and usually is 52 to 60 proof. In many communities, especially in Bihor and Sălaj, palinka is made alongside ţuică.
*Slivovitz, the national drink of Serbia
*Raki (alcoholic beverage), a Turkish drink
*Rakia, traditional Balkan drink (Slavic countries)

Video

To view a short documentary on Ţuică go here: [http://www.tv-net.ro/Video-Cum-se-face-tuica+147] . It illustrates the brewing and distilation process.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Țuică — (gesprochen / ʦuj.kə/) ist eine traditionelle Spirituose aus Rumänien. Țuică wird ausschließlich aus Pflaumen hergestellt. Spirituosen, die aus anderen fermentierten Früchten destilliert werden, heißen „Rachiu“ bzw. „Palincă“. Inhaltsverzeichnis… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ţuică — ŢÚICĂ, ţuici, s.f. Băutură alcoolică obţinută prin fermentarea şi distilarea prunelor sau a altor fructe. ♢ Cazan de ţuică = alambic. ♢ expr. (pop.) Cu ţuica în nas = afumat, ameţit, beat. ♦ Cantitate de ţuică care încape într un pahar. – cf. scr …   Dicționar Român

  • tuica — tuica, tceduica varr. tsuica …   Useful english dictionary

  • Țuică — Bouteille de Țuică La Țuică est une boisson alcoolisée traditionnelle originaire de Roumanie provenant de la distillation des prunes. Les boissons alcoolisées qui sont obtenues en utilisant d autres fruits fermentés s appellent Rachiu ou Palincă …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tuica — Dieser Artikel oder Abschnitt ist nicht hinreichend mit Belegen (Literatur, Webseiten oder Einzelnachweisen) versehen. Die fraglichen Angaben werden daher möglicherweise demnächst gelöscht. Hilf Wikipedia, indem du die Angaben recherchierst und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ţuică — Dieser Artikel oder Abschnitt ist nicht hinreichend mit Belegen (Literatur, Webseiten oder Einzelnachweisen) versehen. Die fraglichen Angaben werden daher möglicherweise demnächst gelöscht. Hilf Wikipedia, indem du die Angaben recherchierst und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ţúicã — s. f., g. d. art. ţúicii; (sorturi, porţii) pl. ţuici …   Romanian orthography

  • uica — tuica, tceduica varr. tsuica …   Useful english dictionary

  • Tsuica — Dieser Artikel oder Abschnitt ist nicht hinreichend mit Belegen (Literatur, Webseiten oder Einzelnachweisen) versehen. Die fraglichen Angaben werden daher möglicherweise demnächst gelöscht. Hilf Wikipedia, indem du die Angaben recherchierst und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tsuika — Dieser Artikel oder Abschnitt ist nicht hinreichend mit Belegen (Literatur, Webseiten oder Einzelnachweisen) versehen. Die fraglichen Angaben werden daher möglicherweise demnächst gelöscht. Hilf Wikipedia, indem du die Angaben recherchierst und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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