Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Overview of Albanian Cuisine

What makes one's country specific is its tradition. According to this fact, national cuisine is also one more evidence to the uniqueness of one's country; even if that country have many influences. I could say that Balkan cuisine is one of the most mixed cuisines that ever exist on this world. One of the Balkans countries that has amazingly diverse and tasty cuisine is Albania. Mostly Albanian cuisine is influenced by Greek, Italian and Turkish cuisines. Moreover, Albanian cuisine presents a one of a kind mix of Mediterranean flavors. Every part of Albania holds dishes that are characteristic only to that part.

If you are into experimenting different tastes, than you should definitely try the Albanian cuisine. Here are several dishes that are must-try-it: "Tavë kosi" is one of the national Albanian meals that became classic. It is a backed lamb with rice which is served with sauce of yoghurt. This meal will take your breath away! Another dish, which certainly deserves to be on our list is "Gjellë me Arra të Ellit" which is a cooked chicken or veal with walnuts. Moreover, Albanians have "tavë me presh", baked minced meat with leeks, which could be found only in this country.

The specialty of the capital city, Tirana, is a dish called "Fergesë e Tiranës me speca" which is sautéed tomatoes and peppers with feta cheese. Going deeper in Albanian cuisine, you would find "Jani me Fasule", a delicious easily prepared bean soup. In addition, seafood meals are frequent in the coastal part of Albania. Among the most popular cities that served excellent seafood specialties are Sarandë, Vlorë, Lezhe, Durrës and many more. What is also important for Albanian cuisine is that vegetables are used in almost all meals. Oregano, Mint, Black Pepper, Rosemary and Basil are only few of the Mediterranean herbs that are used in Albanian cuisine. Also, butter and olive oil are major ingredients in Albanian dishes.

What is more for Albanian cuisine is that it abounds with many mouth-watering desserts. First of our tasty list is "kabuni". This dessert is made of fried rice in butter with mutton broth, sugar, ground cloves and cinnamon. Next on our list is "ballokume" characteristic only for Elbasan. The last, but not the least on our list is "Hoshaf me fiq të thatë" which is a stewed dry figs dessert, a kind of a pudding.

When we talk about Albanian beverages, the first thing that will come up on our mind is "Skenderbeg" cognac, a high quality brandy with unique taste and aroma that has won many international awards. Another one is "raki", type of brandy made of grape or plum, which is mostly popular among the local citizens. Also, the list of Balkan Wines would not be complete if there are not mentioned Albanian quality wines. The most popular Albanian beers are: Birra Korça and Birra Tirana

To conclude, Albanian cuisine is a great challenge for those who what to experiment with their diet. Also, on behalf of a rich historical past, today's Albanian cuisine is a blend of many influences that have made it unique.


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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Overview of Romanian Cuisine

Romania is one of the countries that has a very turbulent history, thus it also has very diverse cuisine. In the Romanian traditional cuisine we will notice marks of various international cuisines. This cuisine was influenced by Turks, Serbian, Germans and Hungarians. Romanians have kept the best recipes from these countries, and successfully tried to adapt to their local traditional cuisine.

Romania has many traditional dishes which will leave you breathless. One of the most famous Romanian traditional dishes is "mămăligă", which is porridge made of yellow maize, and it is also called as the "bread of the peasants". This meal is also known in its Italian form called "polenta". Furthermore, "mititei", also known as "mici", is another traditional Romanian meal made of grilled minced-meat rolls. The mixture for "mititei" is made of beef, pork and lamb blended with garlic, thyme, savory, black pepper, coriander and anise. This dish is best served with beer and mustard. The both names of this meal, "mititei" and "mici", mean "small ones". In Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina you can find them under the name cevapcici.

Another specific meal that Romanians have is "ciorbă", a sour soup made of meat and various vegetables. What is interesting about this meal is that Romanians have made a quite difference between "supa", which is a soup, and "ciorba". In most of the cases soups are clear and have no added acid, as "ciorbă" may contain a huge mixture of soup ingredients, like lemons. Moreover, Romania is well-known to its "brânză de burduf ", which is a salty type of cheese. This cheese has a strong taste, made of sheep’s milk, and it is a little soft in texture. It is made according to a traditional Roman recipe, and even today it is made in the old fashion way: the sweet curd is sliced into very small pieces, salted and then it is hand-mixed in a wooden bowl. After the mixing, the mixture is put in a sheep’s stomach or skin that are carefully cleaned, or in a tube made of pine bark. If the cheese is kept in the tube made of pine bark, it will get specific pine favour. This cheese is unique to Romania, and maybe Romanian cuisine is famous due to brânză de burduf.

One of the most famous dishes that Romanians are very proud to have is "tochitura". It is made of fried pork, smoked bacon and sausages smoothed with white wine. This amazingly tasteful meal is served with mamaliga, Brânză de burduf and egg fried in Romanian style. This dish is extremely popular, and you could find many variations of it around Romania.

A food is nothing without beverage. Like all countries, so do Romans have their specific traditional drinks. "Tuică" is a strong brandy made of plum, and it has many variations in the taste according to the production area. Also, Romania is one of the world’s wine producers, which has numerous types of wine all with amazingly good and specific flavour. You can check the article about Balkan Wines for more informations.

To conclude, even thou Romanian cuisine had many influences during the years, it became very famous and unique. Romanian dishes and beverages are very delicious, and they are true challenge to the whole wide world.
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