|Welcome to Slow Food Albania|
I love good food. You might call me a foodie or a food snob but that doesn't bother me. Salty, sweet, or savory; from the most complex flavor profile to the simplest, if the food is made with good quality products I enjoy it. I can be as equally satisfied with a creative salad as I am with a platter of meat. I prefer local and organic products but do eat carefully selected imported items. I would rather taste a single bite of a quality food item than have heaping plates of food of an inferior quality. In my opinion, when it comes to food, more isn't always better.
|Mezes of tapanade, cream, and pesto|
Last fall I was fortunate enough to spend a weekend in Turino, Italy with a group of European alumnae from my Alma Mater discussing these very issues. That weekend was thought provoking and filled with culinary delights. I blogged about the experience here. The weekend further spurred my gastronomic interest and I returned home thinking even more about eating locally and the opportunities that existed in Albania.
Slow Foods International and Slow Europe have helped to take the movement global. What started small has grown into an epic scale project with members in 150 countries. Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered that Albania had its very own slow food chapter. This past weekend I had the opportunity to discover just what Slow Food Albania is all about.
|Garlic shoots, cheese, and bean byrek|
Mrizi i Zanave did not disappoint. Because we went as part of a group, we were served a set menu. In true Albanian fashion, once the food started arriving it didn't stop. We started with a trio of spreads- pesto, olive tapanade, and cream that were slathered on top of homemade toasts. Next came platters of lightly grilled spring vegetables and creative spins on traditional Albanian dishes. I had never tried fresh garlic shoots before and I found them to be surprisingly tasty. I'm not a fan of traditional byrek which usually arrives heavy and drenched in oils. Both the bean and the nettle filled byrek were delicious. So much so, that Glenn, who doesn't eat beans, cleaned his plate.
|A duo of pastas|
|Chicken in a pot|