Ignite Your Tastebuds

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Mussels: Sarande is famous for the mussel farms in Ksamil and on Lake Butrint. Try them fried, in their shells or in a stew.

Fish: Head to the harbor early in the morning to watch the fishermen bring in their catch to sell to the locals.

Lamb: Find the best charcoal grilled lamb chops on the outskirts of town. Then discover the place with only 5 tables but incredible spit-roasted lamb.

Byrek: You’ll never go hungry with delicious filo pastries filled with cheese, spinach, leeks or meat. This tasty Albanian “fast food” is usually eaten on the go.

Skanderbeg: Albanian brandy isn’t French cognac by any means, but it has won several international competitions and won’t break the bank.

Beer: Several light and dark beers are brewed in Albania – expect to pay $1.50 US for a half liter in a café or restaurant and $.80 from the supermarket.

Wine: Be adventurous and make friends with a local. They’ll know where to get the best homemade wine – sulfite and preservative free!

Raki: This firewater is drunk at any time of the day or evening. Made from grapes in Sarande, but in the colder northern climate they use plums.

Coffee: A more integral part of Albanian life than raki and not one Starbucks to be seen! Deals are done, marriages arranged, jobs offered – all over a cup of coffee.

Expect your quick cup of Joe with your new Albanian friend to take at least an hour. Even the making of coffee is a delicate process and not to be rushed, so sit back and enjoy the view. Seattle has nothing on Albania which has more coffee shops per capita than any country on earth!