The first bio factory, dedicated to sarmale kitchens, opened in Gheorgheni Harghita, in Romania. Sarmale are one of the most famous specialities in romanian cooking. Now, in Romania, this factory prepares bio sarmale tasted like those made at home…
The first bio Factory in Romania, producing the traditional mincemeat rolls in cabbage leaves, in Romanian sarmale, opened Last week in Gheorgheni Harghita. Bajko Laslo invested 130 thousand Euro in its construction. He completely transformed an old building in the city, and based on a project drawn up by a Bucharest firm, he equipped it with the latest technologies. The workers prepare the product using an old Szekler recipe, boil and pack it in different ways up, afterwards it is frozen and ready to hit the market.
The businessman said the idea came to him when he realized that women today are busier and the preparation of this particular dish requires a lot of time.
“ I really enjoy this dish, we looked for a solution to put it fast on the table and still maintain the quality . But we didn’t find one. This was the point of departure for this business venture. Not only does it take little time to prepare it, but it is of excellent quality. It is a special Szekler recipe . Sarmale are made all over Romania but the spicing is done according to this traditional Szekler recipe. The policy of our firm is to ensure the quality of the product, using the best ingredients. You have to put your heart into it, the cabbage has to be pickled and not scaled . For the time being we wish to keep the Szekler spicing recipe secret.”
All guests present at the factory’s opening said that the Sarmale were delicious and tasted like those made at home.” Who wants to make Sarmale has to start preparing for them in autumn, when the cabbage is pickled. Afterwards the whole preparation process requires a lot of time” said Bajko Laszlo. He bought an old stable, which he totally transformed, equipped it with the latest technologies, to maintain a sterile and adequate environment for production, and hired six persons for starters.
“ We have a 440 square meter facility, in 22 rooms. Most of the process is done manually, only the mixing and cutting is mechanical, it is therefore similar to that taking place at home. The ladies fry the onion until it has the right color, just as they do at home. We don’t want the technology to resemble that of a factory, this is a manufactory. If you taste our Sarmale you will see that they taste exactly like the homemade ones. Up to 100 people have already tasted our product and were very pleased with it . We organized a tasting at the opening last week, and our guests confirmed that we kept our promise: Our Sarmale taste like those made at home. We are now signing contracts with distribution companies. You can already find our product in Bucharest, Targu-Mures, we are slowly reaching stores, but we can’t reach all at once. For the beginning the product will be sold in more specialized grocery stores. For example in Bucharest, you can find it in a bio store.”
Is the larger scale production of this dish economical for families? Bajko Laslzo believes that women will continue cooking Sarmale at home, but hopefully not better than those made in Gheorgheni..
“ It is not a cheap product, it can’t be since we only use the best raw materials. The manufacturing is also important, there is a lot of work involved. We are aware that there are also Sarmale in cans. Ours however, are boiled and quick frozen, it is a different system. Preservation is different from freezing. Our product is 100% natural, we don’t use any chemicals, the only so-called foreign material is the iodized salt, used regularly in food production. The rest of the materials is of natural and excellent quality, like the rice. We have our own cabbage storage facility, set up in autumn, when we pickle the cabbage and use spring water without chlorine.”
If the demand for his product increases, Bajko Laszlo is ready to hire more people and to produce up to 4 thousand Sarmale a day. His sole commitment , even if he succeeds on the market, is to maintain the quality of the product.