Romanian strawberry and “smantana de bivolita” ice cream

I was so happy to see Romanian strawberries this weekend… so many beautiful easy recipes…and it’s well worth buying the local ones, because they do have more fragrance and taste than those flown in. I bought some gorgeous strawberries at the Matache market and topped up with extras at the Autogara market in Baneasa. It’s also great to see some Romanian strawberries available in supermarkets these days. I think the brand is “Nedelco” – as, let’s face it, we don’t always have time to visit a real market…

A particular rare delight I would recommend- if traveling in the mountains where sometimes people are selling the small wild strawberries or “fragute”; buy them – so fragile and fleeting, that the only thing to do is consume them immediately!

The partnership of strawberries and cream is of course a classic. Luckily Romania is blessed with the superstar of the dairy world: the buffalo. Buffalo milk is 60 percent higher in calcium and has half the cholesterol of cow’s milk. Its super creamy feel comes from its smaller size fat molecules – all in all, a wonderful lactose treasure trove. For anyone who can’t drive up to Transylvania, there is a wonderful specialty shop on 44 Stefan Cel Mare boulevard that sells superlative quality dairy products, including ‘smantana de bivolita’ and ‘yaourt de bivolita.’ Both need nothing more than some icing sugar and a heap of strawberries to create a perfect dessert.

 

One of the most simple and easy ice creams  – its creamy fel is all down to the Buffalo yoghurt/ sour cream. I made last year and I am about to make again was a yoghurt based ice. Simplicity itself and no special equipment needed. Make it with any good quality yoghurt if sheep’s yoghurt is unavailable.

Strawberry and Sheep’s Milk Frozen Yogurt

500g strawberries, hulled and sliced

125g (or 75g fructose)

Juice of half a lemon and the zest too of the lemon

350g  Buffalo sour cream (“Smantana de Bivolita”)  or (slightly easier to find) Buffalo yoghurt

Blend the strawberries, lemon juice and sugar. Whisk in the sour cream and churn in your ice cream machine. alternatively, with no special equipment, place in the freezer and after 1.5 hours disturb the mixture with a fork to break up the ice crystals. Refreshing and delicious!

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