Food before politics: Kosovan Tavë Prizreni

Kosovo’s status as a country is somewhat contentious. After claiming independence from Serbia in 2008, it is only partially recognised within the United Nations (43% of the member states don’t acknowledge it as an independent state). Still, that’s 57% of member states that do recognise it, so as far as we were concerned, that was enough to justify making a Kosovan dish. However, a nine-year-old country doesn’t exactly have a traditional national dish. Due to historical and ethnic connections with Albania (see, this just gets more complicated), Kosovan cuisine has been particularly influenced by Albanian cuisine. We haven’t yet made a dish from Albania so we didn’t want to accidentally make Albania’s national dish for Kosovo!

Fortunately, we stumbled upon tavë prizreni, which translates to Plate of Prizren, Prizren being a Kosovan city. This seemed like the closest thing to a national dish that we were going to find, so Friday’s dinner menu was decided! It was impossible to find a recipe in English, though, so we turned to Google Translate, which is always fun: we had to decipher such instructions as ‘put the mass of the pizza into the pan’ and ingredients like ‘lacquered and cropped tomatoes’. We think that our recipe below is a pretty accurate version of the original dish, but if we have any Kosovan readers, please do set us straight if we’re wrong! Continue reading

Advertisements

Autumn warmer: Guadeloupe porc-colombo

We recently spent two weeks in South Africa and had a wonderful time. Although much of the holiday centred around food, drink and outdoor activities (as is typical for us), it was in other ways unlike any other holiday we’ve taken before, and we wished we had time to see and do more. Sadly, though, our jobs beckoned, so we had to cut it off at two weeks.

In addition to the bounteous (and cheap!) food and wine, fascinating social dynamics and incredible wildlife experiences, one thing we particularly enjoyed was the glorious weather. We spent our last few days in the far north of the country, right near the Botswana-South Africa border, and temperatures were in the mid-to-high 30s every day. To look on the bright side of returning to a crisp English autumn day, the colours were vibrant and beautiful, but the 30 degree drop in temperature between getting on the plane in Johannesburg and getting off at Heathrow was not appreciated! Fortunately, we had a Guadeloupe curry to warm us up. Continue reading