Cooking Around the World: Albania

Confession: I had no idea Albania was in the Mediterranean. I had a faint idea it was in Eastern Europe, to my defense.

That’s the added bonus to this CAtW deal. I get to lose some of my Ignorant American points.

High-five.

On to food!

My awesome skills as a food photographer will continue, I assure you.

I was in my own little piece of heaven when I found out that a regular midday meal in Albania includes a salad usually consisting of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green peppers, feta cheese, olive oil, and –

kalamata olives!

“Thank you!” – my taste buds

“What?!?!” – my wallet

Guestimate of budget

  • Lamb = $5
  • Kalamata olives = $4 (!!!!)
  • Feta cheese = $2.50
  • Cucumber, tomatoes, green peppers, onions = ~$3-4 (Aldi 🙂 )
  • Yogurt = $2
  • Olive oil = $0.20 (yeah, totally made it up. We have one of those giant jugs of e.v.o.o.)
  • Rice = $0.20
  • Milk = $2
  • Spices = $0.05

Total: $19.95

And so far we’ve had four meals of leftovers! (I may have been eating the dessert as a meal.)

I love Albania. They have North, Central, and Southern cuisine differences, too!

Their national dish is of the Southern variety. In the South, they have lots of dairy from their vast pastures of flocks, or something to that effect.

Therefore, they bake their lamb with lots of yogurt on top of it to create Tavë Kosi. Oh, but before that, they cook the lamb in butter.

Lots of butter.

Lamb 'n' butter. That is what it is.

Lamb ‘n’ butter. That is what it is.

The ultimate comfort food.

The salad though. Oh geeze oh man! We doubled the recipe and don’t regret it even a little bit.

For dessert, we had rice pudding. I’m not even going to show you the sorry excuse for a picture I took of it. Just trust me that it was delicious. And check out this recipe we used for actually good pictures.

And the best part was, we got to use the crockpot!

After the 3-hour cooking fiasco of last week, we went with a baked dish, a salad, and a crockpot recipe.

You can’t say we don’t learn.

Menu

  • Tavë Kosi – National Dish; baked lamb and yogurt
  • Salad – typically served with the midday meal
  • Rice Pudding with cinnamon and nutmeg – dessert!
There's lamb hiding under that gorgeous topping of yogurt. Don't let it get away from you.

There’s lamb hiding under that gorgeous topping of yogurt. Don’t let it get away from you.

First of three helpings of salad. Thanks, Albania!

First of three helpings of salad. Thanks, Albania!

Pinterest page of the recipe collection (and actually good pictures)

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