Transylvanian nosh to get your teeth into…
A brief look at the specialty dishes of Transylvania – Saxon, Romanian, Hungarian, and Ottoman.
These include potato bread, tarragon and cumin flavoured broths, smoked pork and bean stews, sweet dumplings, stuffed cabbage, jam pancakes, and minced meat kebabs.
Some nice savoury peasant food, I think you’ll agree.
Vampires of course only drink blood – human preferably, but rats, moo-cows and snakes if necessary. Famously back in the 1670s (according to Marvel’s Giant-Size Man-Thing #5), a thirsty Dracula fed on a Swiss milker called Bessie, creating the dreaded Hellcow:
In the comics, Hellcow later allied with Deadpool but was secretly working against him to aid the villainous Chameleon in creating an army of super-powered LMDS (Life Model Decoys. Or some such.
As vampires subsist solely on blood, why in the 1970s and 80s, did Dracula become the subject of range of sticky sweet confectionary aimed primarily at children? Namely Count Chocula, Kenneth Williams as Dracula promoting fresh cream cakes and Walls’ blood-red ice lollies.
One for older and wiser heads than mine, dear reader.
Here are the ads:
SNL’s Pete Davidson parodied Count Chocula in a sketch in November 2020:
The Simpsons also took a crack at Chocula as the broken down, toothless Count Fudgula, who, as the saying goes, ‘got high on his own supply’.
As a last minute All Hallow’s Eve treat, howabout a real-life Halloween Party at Vlad the Impaler’s actual Bran Castle (Trans-Carpathia) which includes dinner and accommodation for one night. Not at all tacky.
Although why this young British oaf is dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean is quite beyond me.
More information if you fancy a last minute dash up the Borgo Pass to Castle Dracula:
The Count rushes to the local Spar to pick up a party pack of Tennent's Extra lager for his discerning UK guests:
But where to eat Transylvanian delicacies in the UK?
Currently there are only around 5 restaurants (most, but not all, rather tackily-themed), including:
Transilvanian House in Nottingham:
Transylvania Restaurant in Bristol:
And the less obviously gimmicky Transylvania's Yard in Southampton, although burgers and pizzas (including Hawaiian) are available for those reluctant to try a Carpathian spread.
Presumably the port of Southampton is a popular spot with the Transylvanian/Romanian expat crowd, as there also exists a specialist food store and Romanian eaterie Mako's Table, which is now apparently permanently closed.
And in sophisticated Birmingham (a city eulogised by none other than an enraptured Telly ‘Kojak’ Savalas*), Transylvania Land, but this looks to have also closed, so a case of 'fangs for the memories' then.
Btw, Bram Stoker's posthumously published short story Dracula's Guest is set on All Hallow's Eve.
In a scene from 1977's BBC1 mini-series, The Count (suave Gallic actor Louis 'Gigi' Jourdan) offers his 'Brides' a tasty treat:
Yummy – super fresh as well.
And some excellent music to accompany your repast, Krzysztof Komeda's marvelous evocative score to Roman Polanski's The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967):
In the movie, Count von Krolock (Ferdy Mayne) is upset to find that stake (geddit?) is on the menu:
Stephen J Arnell October 30th, AD 2023