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Albania - Cooking a cook[]

Overview of Albanian Cuisine History[]

Three great empires, throughout the centuries, have subjugated Albania. The Greeks, the Romans and eventually the Turks have obtained control over the Albanian territory. Each of them has exercised powerful influences over the Albanian culture and therefore, over Albanian cuisine.

Albanian cuisine is a mixture of the national cuisines of the surrounding countries. In time, it has accumulated concepts from both the Balkan and the Mediterranean nations. Together with the Greek and the Turkish cuisines, the cuisine of Albania is one of the most famous in the Mediterranean area. This is due to the richness of the vegetation, the multitude of spices and the great number of meat varieties. The fish, mullet and Lamb, along with oregano, olives and grapes are evidence of this fact.

A dispute appeared between the Greeks and the Albanians, as each of these nations claimed to be the creator of certain dishes. It is known that most of the foods that are in the Adriatic and Ioanian areas are believed to be Greek. The most difficult fact is that both countries use the same cooking techniques and therefore it is virtually impossible to distinguish a Greek dish from an Albanian dish, if they are based on the same recipe.

In Albania, the lunch represents the most important meal of the day. It consists of soups, main dishes that are based on meat, salads that are served along with the meat dishes and desserts. The beverage that made Albania popular at least all over Europe is the traditional brandy. Besides that, other famous Albanian beverages are raki, beer and several varieties of red and white wine.

Cuisines of Albania[]

Map of Albania- Click to enlarge

Albania had different cooking styles in each of its regions, but due to the many years spent under the communist regime, the cuisine has become even all over the territory. The Albanian cuisine includes many of concepts used in the Turkish and Greek cuisines. The Albanians have used the foreign recipes as a basis for their cuisine and have enhanced each recipe by using local ingredients. However, the influences of the neighboring countries are often made on.

Albanian Food Glossary[]

Finding the ingredients for an Albanian Recipe is not so easy when you do not know the names of the ingredients. Take time to make a list of ingredients and the name they may be found under at the Local Markets.

Preparation Methods for Albanian Cooking[]

The Albanian food preparation methods are similar to the ones from Greece, and furthermore, are the same cooking techniques that are used all over Europe. Those who wish to prepare any of the Albanian traditional dishes should have basic information about boiling, frying, steaming, seasoning, salting, smoking and grilling. Each of these methods is used on the ingredients, until a certain effect appears. For example, meat must be grilled until it gets a certain color. Boiling the vegetables too much can make them too smooth, and the amount of vitamins drops severely.

Special Equipment for Albanian Cooking[]

Most Albanian dishes don’t require you to purchase any special tools. However, having a coffee grinder helps with roasting and grinding spices and maximizes their volatile oils, which, in turn, provides your food with more flavor.

The Albanian cooking and serving equipment consists of forks, knives, teaspoons, tablespoons, scoops, pans, pots, bowls, trays, mills for the spices, graters, boxes for spices, as well as boxes for the ingredients. The soups are served in deep plates, while the appetizers and the meat dishes are served on flat dishes.

Albanian Food Traditions and Festivals[]

The Albanian festivals usually are organized for cultural purposes. In Tirana, the capital of Albania, there are film festivals organized each year. Folk music festivals are also popular throughout the country. The tourists that come to these international festivals are eager to try the local cuisine. People can use these occasions to promote their national dishes in and outside of local restaurants.

People in Albanian Food[]

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