Marginimea Sibiului is a region situated in Southern Transylvania. Marginimea Sibiului has a rich history in sheep breeding. For grassing, the shepherds travel with the sheep through the Carpathians Mountains. This activity had an important role in shaping the mountain landscape we see today.
The shepherds from Marginimea Sibiului are well known in Romania because of the varieties of sheep cheese that are produced here, such as “telemea”, “urda”, “branza de burduf”. Sheep cheese is, par excellence, part of this region’s culinary and cultural tradition and its diversity is given by its mountain pastures and ancestral production techniques. Sheep products are celebrated annually since 2003 in a festival that aims to enhance local economy by bringing together local farmers, folk dancing groups and tourists. The festival is called “Cheese and Brandy Festival”. The visitors have the chance to participate in cooking a traditional dish –sheep cheese and polenta – a dish prepared by farmers while grassing with their sheep in the Carpathians Mountains. The tourists have the opportunity to taste delicious local products and dishes while on the other hand the local farmers have the possibility to sell their local products. Along with sheep cheese other local products are being trade such as pork and sheep meat specialties, local brandy, forest fruits gems and honey. Thus, a direct trading chain between local producers/farmers and tourists has been established once the festival started. The festival is a good example of a win-win situation, both for the local farmers as well as for tourists and local tourism accommodation. More, the festival also offers the opportunity for the local community to share their cultural values such as local music, traditional clothes and local dances.
The festival is a good example of collaboration among local stakeholders. Moreover, the festival is also part of the 2019 agenda, when the city of Sibiu will be the European Region of Gastronomy.