When I was approached by Azamara Cruises to talk about my love of Albanian food, I jumped at the chance!
Azamara Cruises offer the intelligent tourist, cruises, tours and excursions that go off the beaten track. Rather than sticking to resorts and commercial destinations, they go just a little bit deeper, trying to provide their clients with a more authentic and sustainable experience.
This is what I had to say:
“Although not as widely known as the likes of Spain and Italy for being popular foodie destinations, the likes of Montenegro and Albania more than holds their own when it comes to its cuisine.
Alice, who runs The Balkanista site, says Albania should be a must-visit for foodies.
“Albania has to be top of the list. Whilst many know nothing about this place or have some negative preconceptions, they couldn’t be further from the truth. When it comes to food, it is a foodie’s paradise. Albanian cuisine consists of a lot of meat and fish paired with dairy and fresh vegetables. Frozen food doesn’t exist here and everything is seasonal and straight from the farm to the table. Dishes are lightly seasoned and instead rely on the rich natural flavours of the ingredients, to make a truly mouth-watering menu. Think simple, seasonal, and utterly scrumptious.”
Montenegro might be a small country, but it also has a great reputation for its cuisine amongst people who have visited.
In an article on Culture Trip, Sarah Pavlovic, says, “It ranges from garlicky seafood on the coast to hearty mountain fare designed to keep hard-working farmers going. Every region has its specialities.”
FOODS TO TRY
While different areas of Albania boast their own traditional dishes one dish that stands out for Alice is Himare.
“I recommend going to Himare and eating grilled fresh fish with a Greek-style salad. In Tirana, you can eat fergese which is smoked veal baked with cheese, yoghurt, and spices. Alternatively, you can sit by the sea and dine on raw prawns drizzled with lemon juice, fresh olive oil, and crushed red peppercorns.”
TRES LECHES CAKE
If you are enjoying a meal and are looking for a dessert to try, then it should be tres leches cake, according to Alice.
“For dessert, I recommend tres leches cake- a sponge soaked in three kinds of milk, or a saltaish which is the Albanian take on a rice pudding- sprinkled with cinnamon and dried cherries. If you have room for more, I would go for petulla- fried dough balls typically eaten with salty goats’ cheese and organic honey.”
You can read the full article here.
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