Albania is in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Montenegro,  Kosovo,  Macedonia,  and Greece; it has coasts on the Adriatic Sea , and the  Ionian Sea.  Albania has a long history of various occupations which has influenced its culture. It was part of Roman provinces:  Dalmatia, Macedonia, and Moesia Superior. After the weakening of the Roman empire it became part of Serbia. The Ottomans started to take over rule in 1413 with formal jurisdiction established in 1431. Albania declared its independence after the Balkan wars in 1912.  In 1939 it was invaded by Italy and came under Nazi rule. After War world II they became a communist country and in 1991 the communist government was dissolved. In 1997  there was an armed rebellion due to economic conditions that caused people to flee the country. In 1999 during the Kosovo war many Albanians came back to Albania for refuge.



The most fascinating thing I found is their religion. In the 11th century they were completely christian. With the Ottoman empire rule Islam was introduced and became more prominent. After the Ottoman empire collapse the monarchy structure took over and they never declared a national religion and practiced the separation of church and state. During the communist rule their leadership abolished organized religion and Albania was considered to be one of the first atheist countries. When the democratic party emerged they allowed freedom of religion again. So largely due to their  history, they were ranked 14th  least religious country in the world by 2010.

The religion is not the only thing impacted by their history, but also their cuisine. They are a Mediterranean cuisine that is influenced by Italy, Ottoman Turks, Greece,  and Serbia.  Their recipes contain only a few ingredients. They commonly use black pepper (who doesn’t?), oregano, mint, basil, rosemary, olive oil, butter, lamb, beef, chicken, and rabbit. In the coastal areas they are supposed to have great seafood, but I can’t find a recipe online.  This week I will be making:


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