Eat the world challenge – Albania

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I always wanted a challenge, something to keep the four of us or mostly me busy, like I have nothing to do otherwise. Anyway I couldn’t think of the right one, where we’d all be included and then it hit me. Let’s cook our way through the world, one lunch at a time. Oh, don’t think this is suddenly going to turn into a food blog, no need to worry. It’s just that I love to travel and when I do, eating is next on the list. Well, even when I’m not away, eating is pretty much one of my favorite things to do.

Sadly but true, we don’t have enough money to travel all the time and probably no amount would be enough to keep us on the road forever. On top of that we also don’t have the abundance of time, predominantly because we are solving the first issue of money. So, due to the above mentioned obstacles it occurred to me, the solution might be to bring the world a little closer to us.

That is why for one year, once a week – if we are home, I will be preparing food from one country. And we’ll see how far we get and how many countries will we be able to, what will be the greatest problem I face and what will we all learn… Determining how many countries there are in the world is already a challenge I’ll have to solve. Some say 196, so yes, we’ll need more than a year. But I don’t care, we’ll take it one lunch at a time.

Today was the first day or rather the first meal on our culinary journey. I decided to make things easier on me, so I will start our trip in Europe, where we feel the most comfortable. Staring with an A, we gave Albania a go. [mappress mapid=”6″]I had the whole week to get acquainted with this country. I’ve heard of the country of course, as it’s quiet close to us and it borders Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south and southeast. It also has a nice stretch of coast and it all reflects in their recipes. Albanian food is greatly influenced by its neighboring countries, so the recipes I found were somewhat familiar, using lots of Mediterranean herbs and spices; like mint, oregano, parsley and my favorite lots of olive oil and butter too.

2013-08-25 14.51.25After consulting Google, I’ve chosen to prepare Jani me Fasul soup, which is a white bean casserole and what made it special is that it includes chopped fresh mint, which gives it a bit of twist and it’s unlike the bean soups I’ve ever had.

For the main course I made baked lamb with yogurt, what they call Tavë kosi. Now, I’ve never tried anything with lamb before, yes, we are the family of chicken eaters. 2013-08-25 14.46.52Pun not intended. I just never thought about trying something that sounded more complicated. I was already learning something beyond Italian pasta and Mexican tortillas, we so love to eat. Yummy, we will broaden our horizons, explore flavors and challenge our tasting buds, which is the whole point of this little endeavor.

Still, I was really worried how it will turn out and will it taste good. Because if this meal sucked, I’d be banned from attempting my challenge before we even really started. Talk about pressure! I shouldn’t have worried. Because the meat turned out to be delicious, even Stela enjoyed it, though she called it chicken. Poor kid. And the recipe is super simple as is the dish – lamb, rice and yogurt sauce baked in the oven.

All in all the first country we tried was delicious.

 

 

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