Sunday, January 18, 2015

Albania - Menu and Overview

The spread.
Welcome to our third week of our challenge to cook around the globe.  This week is Albania.

Since I read that Albanian food can be very vegetable centric and I have a vegetarian friend, I decided to cook a meat-free Albanian meal.  According to this article "Traditionally, Albanian diet has been characterized by a low consumption of total energy, meat, and dairy products, but a high consumption of fruit, vegetables, and carbohydrates".  Perfect.

Happy with the Albanian food.
Fasule (Bean Stew)
Leek Burek (Savory Leek Pie)
Kol Burek mi Spinaq (Spinach Hand Pie)
Dessert brought by my friend (recipe to come later)

Now I will say that if you are a carnivore, adding some Tave Kosi which is lamb with yogurt and egg, would be great.  But, meat is expensive and that would not be something that people would have every day.  Beans are cheap so the stew is more likely to appear on a typical Albanian family's table.  The Leek Burek is common during a new year's celebration.  Often a coin is baked into the pie and whoever gets the coin will have good luck.  Since I'm going to share with my seven month old, I didn't want to deal with a chocking hazard lurking in the food.

Eastern European aren't known for their strong flavors and Albania lived up to that sterotype.  I wouldn't say that it was bland.  The feta and cottage cheese did impart nice flavors in the two types of Bureks (savory pies).  But, Albanians only do a spice or two per dish.

My garlic felt very, very lonely.  This might be the first meal in...a decade?...that had no garlic/garlic powder in it. Weird.

Fasule (Bean Stew)
This was the baby's favorite part of the meal.  But, out of everything, it was my least favorite, but that's more just because I liked the other stuff better.  It could have used more seasoning.

Leek Burek (Savory Leek Pie)
This was my favorite.  It's also nice that it's suppose to sit for an hour before cutting into it because I could have it done and

Kol Burek mi Spinaq (Spinach Hand Pie)
This was my other favorite :)  What?  I can't have two?  It was a much higher dough to veggie ratio so probably wouldn't be good for a main.  But I served it as the appetizer and that worked very nicely.

It's bread.  You can't really go wrong with some wheat-y goodness.  Not too sweet.  I made extra and it went well with my American meal of meatloaf the next day.

It reminded me of sweet cornbread, and I mean that in a very good way.


  1. Oooh, how do I get invited? I'll bring wine!

    1. I was actually planning on email you today about just that :)