Albanian lesson of the day- the word “dyqan” means store in Shqip (what the people here call their language. Don’t even get me started on why the English language translates the word “Shqip” to “Albanian”.) Albania is a land that is rich in produce, so going to the dyqan is always an exciting adventure. You never know what you are going to find, but you also know it’s fresh and grown locally right down the street without artificial fertilizers or pesticides. The only problem being an American here, is that they have fruits and vegetables that I’ve honestly never seen in my life.
So living in Shkoder for the last 6 months, I’ve gotten to try some pretty strange an interesting foods. For the first time ever, I ate a fresh apricot. That might sound strange, but in the U.S. I’ve only ever seen dried apricots and apricot jam so it was really awesome to bite into a juicy, ripe apricot. I also ate my first fig, damson, and persimmon. And although they have them in the U.S., I’d never had okra until I came to Albania.
Yes, it can be a little scary to pick your vegetables up off the ground or sidewalk where they are displayed, but you wash them anyway right? But my favorite part about buying okra here is that the man selling it strings them up on long pieces of grass from his yard. Talk about fresh.
Oh, and today I tried my first…whatever this strange brown thing is. It’s delicious that’s all I know. Time to find new recipes that’s for sure!
“It’s not better. It’s not worse. It’s just different.”