Three beautiful and delicious dishes from Mrizi i Zanave restaurant, in the village of Fishte, near the city of Shkodra in Albania.
The village is also known from Gjergj Fishta, who wrote a collection of poems “Mrizi i Zanave” although his masterpiece that gave him the title of national poet, is the national Albanian epic “The highland lute”, first published as a whole in 1937 in Shkoder that recounts Albania’s historical battles for freedom and independence from the Turks and Montenegrins.
“Mrizi i Zanave” restaurant has now grown to be famous in Albania and abroad, with its original menus and combination of the traditional with modern elements. It is set in the countryside, run by a chef-entrepreneur Altin Prenga, that is from the area, lived and worked in Italy for a number of years and returned to Albania to open his own restaurant. The enterprise employs local people and cultivates its own produce and sources others from local farmers. It is also part of the “slow food movement”.
“Mrizi i Zanave” was also visited by Rick Stein in his culinary journey “From Venice to Istanbul” where he sampled an Albanian speciality of “hand-made pasta with chicken and spices bake” (Jufka me mish pule).
The first dish below is a selection of starters, including a selection of pickles with pickled peaches amongst others, olives, homemade bread, fresh feta cheese, homemade fruit syrup and cloves of garlic and a pie with spinach and corn flour.
The second dish is a selection of grilled aubergines and deep fried flowers of courgette or zucchini bush, in batter.
The third dish is lamb shishkebabs, with potatoes and fresh porcini mushrooms from the mountains of Puka, further up north of Albania.
Just looking at these images makes me want to go back to this place. If you’re in Albania and you’ve never been, don’t wait any longer. And If you haven’t been to Albania, well maybe it’s time to think again?
A friend as written an excellent review of the place Mrizi i Zanave, the subtle savour of culinary delights of Northern Albania
The daily post at wordpress.com today was about Food for the Soul (and the Stomach) and I chose this post as one that perfectly addresses the theme.