The Wayfarer (mnfaure) wrote,
The Wayfarer

Second Taste of Albania

First, a word for Authors of Fantasy Whose Characters Eat in Taverns:

If ever you get slammed by critters/readers because your characters eat the ubiquitous bowl of stew, all you have to say is, "My world is loosely based on Albania, and there, they eat lots of stew."


The second day, upon arriving, I ordered takeout from a neighborhood restaurant, not yet ready to dive into adventures in cooking with two pots and a pan (and no cooking utensils besides soup spoons and freakishly flat forks). Sensing I hadn't a clue and couldn't speak a word in Albanian, the helpful server at the one-room eatery invited me behind the counter where the cook proceeded to lift the lid off seven of the ten pots she had on the counters and enormous range. Each and every one contained a different kind of stew.  Her husband (I think) took the lid off another to reveal what looked more like a soup--smaller pieces of what-have-you in a thin broth--something the locals eat for lunch; they didn't offer me that one. So, yeah, lots of stew-like dishes.  Oh, and if want rice, you ask for a "pilaf."  Easy enough, that.

And for breakfast that morning, in addition to a wonderfully tasty loaf of bread, Julien brought home a profiterole.  It looked like this:

Not at all what we are used to. Didn't taste at all like we are used to either.  Julien ended up eating it; I would have died of sugar shock had it been up to me to finish it.

In addition to stews, Albanians are verrrrry big on pasta.  And pizza.  You see as many, if not more, restaurants with Italian dishes on the menu than Albanian fare, and there's a pizzeria on every corner when you're trying to get home.... ahem, sorry about that.*

Fast food, hot dogs, "tost" (still don't know what they mean by that; grilled cheese maybe?), and "krepas" are pretty big, too, not to mention sanduiçs!** 
* please tell me you get the silly song reference.
** In Albanian, the cedilla is pronounced "ch"

Tags: albania, gourmandise, pics: albania, putting on my travelin' shoes
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