This year Sam and I have the goal of cooking and eating a meal from every country in Europe. There are 51 countries in Europe, which would match up for us to cook one country’s meal a week. While we would love to get in all 51 in 2018, I know life will interfere and it will probably take us more than a year. That is okay though!
The first country up for our eating adventure is Albania, which is the first country alphabetically. I researched traditional foods, dishes, and meals and came up with a menu that I could find ingredients for and could easily cook.
Lentil soup, beetroot pie, and cabbage salad
We listened to Albanian folk music while we enjoyed our meal, and we looked up a map of Albania and read interesting facts.
- Every evening there is an official evening walk called a “xhiro”
- Albanians shake their heads to agree, but nod to disagree
- The majority of Albanians are Muslim (70%); the second largest religion is Christianity (17%)
- Albanians use scarecrows and teddy bears as talismans to ward off envy from neighbors
- The traditional dress of Albania is made from wool, cotton, and silk with embroidered patterns and symbols
- Lunch is the main meal of the day in Albania and businesses shut down at noon for a few hours to enjoy it
- Albanians eat dinner around 8:00 PM
- Men and women traditionally eat at separate tables
- Heart disease and obesity are rare due to low consumption of meat and high consumption of vegetables
- Mother Theresa is the only Albanian to win the Nobel Prize
Rice “cake” and coffee