Although a small country, Albania is distinguished for its rich biological diversity. The total number of plants is over 3250 species, approximately 30% of the entire flora species found in Europe.
Albania forests are home to range of species. They have bears (duh) and wolves, wold boars and chamois (which I thought was a type of cloth. *shrugs*). There’s also lynx which are rare and pine marters and polecats. Also rare. It has the last of the Balkan lynx in existence. Once thought to be extinct, they are critically endangered and might soon be extinct as their numbers are estimated in the 100s. However, conservationists and the neighboring countries (Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro) are working together to bring this majestic animal back from the “dead” so to speak.
Albania has 350 species of raptors. The golden eagle being one of them. It is also the national symbol of Albania. The local name of Albania is ‘Shqiperia’, which can be translated to ‘Land of the Eagles’.
The national airport of Albania is named after Mother Teresa. The full name of the the airport is Tirana International Nene Tereza.
The ancient city of Butrint is a World Heritage Site. It became and an important stop on the trade routes in 4th century BC. There are fortifications from the 6th century BC, a stage from the 3rd century BC, and some basilicas and baptistry from the palaeo-Christian era.
Albania is one of the least-developed countries in Europe, BUT they have free health care. I guess if you don’t have much you can’t expect much in forms of payment. *shrugs*
The food of Albania
has been influenced by all of its neighboring countries, but from what I’ve seen of their recipes, I think Greece has made the most influence. Including their lunch, which is a large salad of tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and olives. Hmm…
I was initially going to make Byrek. Well, actually I did make it, but it was a fail. I forgot the eggs. I WILL be trying that again as a #MeatlessMonday dish. It was tasty otherwise. Just a tad bit dry.
So, I looked at my list again and found the Qofte or meatballs. Hmm…okay. What to have with them? Veggies? Potatoes? Then I saw a recipe for barbecue meatball sliders or something like that and that’s what I figured I would do. Albanian Qofte Sliders! PERFECT!
Combine first 7 ingredients (beef through garlic powder) in a mixing bowl. Form into 12 meatballs approximately 2 inches in diameter.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Fry the meatballs 10 to 12 minutes making sure to brown on all sides.