A pinch of this. A dash of that.
This is how I cook.
This is not, however, how Albanians cook. In fact, they are known for choosing only one spice (or herb) to enhance each dish. According to the National Tourist Organization of Albania (NTOA),
Albanian chefs rarely mix spices, instead choosing one that harmonizes most closely with the dish’s natural aroma.
Red pepper, parsley, oregano, rosemary, and mint are common. Thanks to the climate Albanians can easily grow their own herbs.
Dishes often include yogurt, lemon, vinegar, honey and/or hot peppers. Braised lamb is often paired with vegetables, however crisp cucumber & tomato salads are also popular.
Albanian cuisine is heavily influenced by her neighbors including Italy, Greece, and Turkey. I look forward to learning how a single spice can pull together the flavors of such distinct cuisines. From what I read, the resulting fusion shows unusual restraint yet still manages to pack a bold punch.
Thank goodness, because this whimsical cook could certainly benefit from a little more restraint.
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