Albania’s one-of-a-kind culinary scene and genuine slow-food network is straight from the pages of a locavore fairy-tale. Wedged between northern Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, the mountains of Montenegro and the warm waters of the Ionian and Adriatic Seas, Albania is a small but fiercely proud country with a unique history, language and cuisine, one that is heavy with Italian and Turkish influence, yet unmistakably Albanian. For centuries, Albania has been conquered, invaded, carved up and isolated, creating a people who have learned to get by with what they have, which, fortunately, is a lot. From grapes to peppers, goats, fish and sheep, Albanian food is all about fresh ingredients and tried-and-true recipes that will leave you in awe of how good simple food can be.
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Why? Why is the question I hear the most. Our long weekend was upon us and my co-workers know that I’m going to go someplace. Where? Many would ask, and then their eyes glaze over at the answer, “Albania”, because it’s a place they do not understand. They politely tell me to have a good trip and they’re off. Some, the curious ones, usually stop, shake the glaze from their eyes to look at me real hard, and ask why…
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When we decided to travel to Albania, we had absolutely no idea what to expect. We’d heard a few sound bites about bad roads and transportation challenges and a few vague assertions that it was an inexpensive place to visit – nothing to help us form any good ideas about what we would be experiencing…
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“Why not give yourself a break from the unending cavalcade of modern high-speed insanity, and rest up with this album of deep soul from Southern Albania.” – Ry Cooder Brazilian Samba, Bosnian Sevdah, New Orleans Jazz, Cuban son – and Albanian Saze! The turn of the last century saw mass migrations to the world’s cities […]