Ah ha! This was the Albanian meal I’ve been waiting for. Fish 20 different ways, 20 different courses. Most of the fish was prepared ceviche style – raw, mixed with fruits, vegetables, olive oil and aromatic herbs. Some at the tail end (no pun intended) was cooked. The meal was served almost entirely in Albanian so I’m not sure what the fish was but some of the stand out pairings included fish with:
watermelon, olive oil
sliced plum, walnut and mint
Oh, and I can’t forget the octopus with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and paprika. Awesome stuff.
For some reason, I ended up sitting at the head of the table with two Albanians to my left and two Albanians to my right. Therefore, because dinner conversation was 99% in Albanian and I don’t understand a word of it, I really got to concentrate on the food and wine.
Yes, much of my dinner was raw, but I’ve survived similarly raw meals in Tirana before. So, at least if I die this time, I die happy.