Sunday, January 24, 2010

Discovering Food from the Balkans

I meant to write about my culinary experience on Albanian food for a while now, but found myself busy reading a lot of interesting books lately. Finally, I'm making time to write about interesting foods I tasted last December. During the Christmas holidays, we usually eat a lot of delicious foods and end up stuffing ourselves like we have no care in the world. This past holiday, I decided that we would attend most of the dinner parties we've been invited to, but that I'd also eat moderately. Indeed, this year was different. I listened to my body and stopped eating whenever I couldn't take it anymore. But it was different in a way that I ate less in quantity, but more in variety. Each dinner party was of different ethnic background : Vietnamese, French, Creole and Albanian. The latter was one I never had during the holidays, but it was the most interesting one because it was unfamiliar to me. My friend Marsela and her husband Artan had prepared an oustanding dinner from the Balkan region - Albanian and Turkish. It was so good that I had to try everything that was on the table.....along with a few short breaks to make room for more. We ended this fabulous meal with an interesting and flavourful dessert called kadaif, a very sweet Turkish dessert that ressembles Baklava, with a sweet syrup and nuts (first photo on this post).

Albanian food is also very similar to Greek food which consists of olives, olive oil, rice, fish, seafood, lots of cheeses. The most interesting dish I tasted was minced beef, seasoned with interesting spices and then baked in cute clay dishes. It seems that the clay makes a difference in the taste of the meat. If baked in a regular baking dish, the beef would have a slightly different flavour. It was good and there was plenty of it that I couldn't finish it.

Minced beef baked in clay dishes

Cheeses and pork sausages

Homemade seafood rice platter - loved it!

Russian salad made of potatoes, mayo, veggies and eggs .

Healthy salad to wash everything down :)
All I can say is that I left the place with a happy and very full belly.

1 comment:

Cynthia said...

Thanks for sharing this... it is always a delight learning about the foods from different parts of the world.