Our Food, Our Story, Our Mystery…

Albania is relatively a new attractiveness in the international market,therefore the participation in Expo Milano 2015 will offer more opportunities for the international visitors to enjoy not only the biological Albanian resources and food, but also to consolidate the positive image of a small country with a long agricultural and organic food tradition.

Our presenceat Expo Milano 2015 will contribute to add a flavor to the soul of Mediterranean culinary tradition. Albania is located in a crossroad where eastern and western traditions have crashed and joined each other creating the modern civilization. The cuisine of this antique land is rich and various as its history.

The tradition of hospitality is a sacred virtue in Albania. The idea of sacrality, hospitality and respect for the voyager and the guest, has been always related to the idea of food, hearth and house. Albanians say my house is the house of my guest” and referred to our tradition it cannot possibly happen otherwise! Albanian has always offered to his guest “bread, salt and his heart”.The served table means not only good food, but it represents respect, honor and gratitude towards the gest.

The Albanians have proven their cooking mastery and have praised it through words (in literature and poems), colors (in pictures and photos), artistic movements and expressions (dance and theatre), focusing on generosity, hospitality and cordiality.

The cultural, artistic and historic richness which characterizesour country and which will be the main subject of our exhibition space, will represent one of the most striking elements for the cluster’s visitors. The cluster intended for the bio-Mediterranean will narrate the rich heritage of experiences, cultures and traditions of a very productive and creative region, which succeeded in benefiting from the resources offered by the territory, thus improving the quality of its products through work. Albania will contribute for this cluster to become a place for dialogue and unique discussion on the future development and growth of the area where we ourselves are living.

Albania - A Remarkable Place

From the dramatic beauty of its Adriatic seacoast across the expanse of its mountainous terrain, Albania impresses visitors with its Mediterranean hospitality, exciting atmosphere, and excellent fresh food. Situated halfway between Italy and Greece, Albania is the westernmost Balkan country and historically at the southern boundary of the Illyrian peoples. Since the Bronze Age Albania has been the steward of European cultural heritage. Albania’s many sites from early classical times are evidence of its central position in the Greco-Roman world. Its prominence in Byzantine and medieval culture attest to an equally central role in European history.

Crossroad of cultures

Albania truly is a crossroad of culture, a small country with three UNESCO sites, Butrint, Berat and Gjirokastra and numerous ancient sites with live traces of old civilizations.

The religious tolerance is one of the best values of our country. Albania is the hearth where three different religiouscoexist in the best harmony possible.

People, Food and Drink

Albanian cuisine is getting popular due to its tasty and fresh Mediterranean food, cheaper than elsewhere in Europe. Guests are welcomed with traditional drink Raki.


Albanian Iso-polyphony is proclaimed "masterpiece of the oral heritage of humanity" protected by UNESCO. Albanians enjoy singing and dancing and they do it beautifully.


Being a new travel destination, Albania is not yet a mass tourism spot. Visitors can enjoy untouched places, hidden private beaches and pristine sea waters.

Outdoor Recreation

Albania with is very diverse landscape offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreations. Travellers can enjoy active holidays in magnificent scenery.

Find Your Inspiration in Albania

A land of legend, music and food, Albania captivated nineteenth century poet Lord Byron: “The Albanians in general have a fine cast of countenance; and the most beautiful women I have ever beheld, in stature and in features.” His travels through Albania’s wild and dramatic countryside and impressions of leaders and country people alike show his appreciation for the rugged Albanian spirit. Lord Byron’s tributes to the loyalty and hospitality of his Albanian friends continue to resonate with modern day travelers.

Albanian history has been portrayed in the history of European photography since 1958 through the rare and professional photos, which enjoy the “Marubi’s Atelier’ signature. Marubi is called “The Father of Albanian Photography’’.Marubi’s Photos are a fantastic modern mirror for the time and place they are realized, but also they are equally classic for the thin East-West cultural border.

History of Albania is our legitimated tradition! Our tradition is a great book of history!


As a highland and coastal country, Albania has variety of surroundings with natural and biological values, many of which meet the requirements of international conventions for the rare and beautiful areas; such spaces are stretching over nearly two thirds of the country's territory.

The lagoons, coastal dunes and forest belt formations with rich flora and vegetation, lakes and underground natural water sources but also the rocky Ionian Riviera should be absolutely mentioned. Albania is blessedby three cross border lakes Ohrid, Shkodra, Butrintiwithunique natural qualities.

The Lake Ohrid: is overcrowded with unique fish fauna and aquatic birds, where diver birds like pelican, swan, koromanti and swimming birds such as ducks, guzan etc. are distinguished. Due to this vitality and these resources in 1980 the lake was declared UNESCO world heritage treasure.

Shkoder Lake: which constitutes an important natural eco-system, where 281 bird species are found. During the winter time flock arrive for winter hibernation. In this way there is a great potential for the activity of "bird watching". On the other hand, the water lake is blessed with 45 species of fish; the most important are carp, eel and shtojza.

Butrinti Lake is one of the most important and remarkable archeological sites in the Adriatic Sea region. Situated on the straits of Corfu with an area of 1.630 ha, or 16 km2, the lake is a lagoon of tectonic origin, therefore the lake has brackish water. The lagoon constitutes an important natural ecosystem of the area and is interesting location for nature lovers and eco - tourism. The lake is covered with Mediterranean bushes and other vegetation types. The lagoon also you will find a number of sea birds’ nests. Butrinti is an ancient Buthrotum, a port since of Hellenistic time to Ottoman period, as well it is an UNESCO World Heritage Site in southwest of Albania. Outside the medieval walls of Butrint lies a wonderful array of the historical sites including Roman cemeteries, villas and temples, as well as Venetian and Ottoman castles. On the surrounding walls are numerous “manumission” inscriptions that record the freeing of slaves in honour of the God Asclepius. At the 2nd century AD the theatre was rebuilt and enlarged in the Roman style with a stage. Today, you find in Butrint a typically roman amphetheatre.

Narta Lagoon:is the second largest in Albania, constitutes an important natural eco-system. In the lagoon about 195 species of birds are found. Also the lagoon waters are rich in fish, especially eels and striped bass.

Kune lagoon: in which there are 70 species of birds, 22 species of reptiles, 6 species of amphibians, 23 species of mammals and 227 species of plants.

Within a relatively small territory, such as Albania is, over 3200 species of higher plants are grown, about 4,700 invertebrate species and over 750 species of vertebrates. About 10,300 km2 of forest area (or 36% of the territory), remain a great natural potential with an incalculable value.

The consumption of Mediterranean foods, such as sea fruits and fish, can improve the health of the whole organism. Mediterranean food is excellent for the brain, as well as for the rest of the body, which manifests better physical health and better quality of life. Mediterranean food includes fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, fish, olive oil, fat free meat, wine, nuts and all these foods are extremely healthy.

Based on the fact that Organic Agriculture in Albania is a tradition in our lifestyles, Organic Agriculture is becoming an important sector for the economy and agricultural exports. In Albania are counted more than 26 organic farms that produce "BIO" certified.

Distinctive and Memorable

Albania is a Western European country offering unique experiences and opportunities. Hospitality runs deep in the Albanian character and its people are hardworking and enterprising. As Albania continues its economic growth, the country is moving steadily into the European Community and the infrastructure is improving. Tourists, investors, business partners and friends of Albania are always welcome. They will find the spirit of Albania to be warm, creative and energetic. Albania is so much more than a destination. Albania offers unforgettable memories and the rewards of a fulfilling relationship.

The tourism and cultural potentials reflect their influence in Albanian culinary identity:

- suitable geographical position and wide release in the Adriatic and Ionian seas;

- diversity forms of relief and beautiful landscapes;

- an appropriate Climate, where the Mediterranean climate prevails in coastal areas and continental influence eastward and north;

- water resources (seas, lakes, rivers, etc.)

- historical heritage

Albania is listed the First of the 10 best places to visit in 2011 by Lonely Planet, and is listed by New York Times the 4th among 52 places to go in 2014.

Albania has interesting museum cities (Berat, Gjirokastra, Kruja), who are declared monuments of culture and are under state protection. These cities have been, as in the past, as today, the subject of visits by domestic and foreign tourists.

Albania is simultaneously very rich in thermal waters.

The historical and cultural potentials of Albania include: archaeological sites (Butrint, Apollonia, Dyrrahu etc.); medieval castles (Rozafa, Kruja, Berat, Tepelenë, Gjirokastra, etc.); various cult objects such as churches, mosque, masjid, ethnographic objects, where every region offers special lifestyle, clothing and food.

Fishery: Albania has a coastline of about 316 km and territorial waters 19 km wide; moreover, there are several coastal lagoons with a total surface area of 10,000 ha, three lakes with a total surface of 300 km2 and around 700 reservoirs with a total surface of 12,000 ha. The fish fauna of commercial interest in sea waters comprises several species and groups ofdemersals, small and big pelagic fishes, crustaceans and molluscs. The most important species of small pelagic are sardine and anchovy, but also mackerels.

In Albania are found rare spaces in the world as Koran fish which grows in the sweet waters of Ohrid lake. Koran is known for its nutritional values, taste and the special way of cooking, which is typical for the area where it grows.

Albanian Rakia: Alcoholic drink produced by distillation or fermentation of certain fruit types mainly from grapes, plums. Well-known and valued, the Raki is produced from craft grapes shaped in area of Permet and Skrapar in south. In the north regions of Albania (Dibra,Korca, Pogradec, ect) is well known the production of Plum Raki.

The art of wine processing is present in Albania, going back to 3-thousand years, since the ancient times and has been widespread in the southwestern coast of the Balkans. Illyrians have had an ancient tradition of vine cultivation and wine making. These evidences are found in the archaeological discoveries in Lin (Pogradec), Tepe (Elbasan) and grinned (Kruja).

Some examples are Leskovik winery (first canteen opened in 1952), followed by Tirana, Shkodra, Librazhdi, Milot winery and so on to the canteen of winery processing "Skanderbeg", in Durres, which recoup all types of wines in Albania and refine for export.

Albanian "Skanderbeg" Cognac is an original alcoholic Albanian beverage good quality produced for the first time on 01. 09. 1967. "Skanderbeg" Cognac is prepared, produced and aged in cask only, barrels made ​​of oak wood, which give flavor and unique color.

"Skanderbeg" Cognac has traditionally enjoyed the confidence of domestic and foreign market such as Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Switzerland, the Russian Federation, Germany, Italy, Greece, USA, Australia, UK, 1970 etc. In 1970 they participated in the International Fair Plovdiv in Bulgaria and were honored with the Bronze Medal. In 1972 they participated in the international competition of wines and cognacs in Bulgaria, where they were honored with the Bronze Medal. In the 9th National Wines Competition in 1981, in Durres, they won the Gold Medal for "Cognac" Skanderbeg "1974" and "Cognac" Skanderbeg "1976".

Olives: As in many other Mediterranean countries, olives are a staple in Albania, where for more than 3000 years; olives and olive oil have been one of the most renowned food products. Olives are among the most important crops of fruit trees that grow in Albania.

- Olive Tree covers approximately 7% of agriculture land (the entire coast ofSaranda (South), in Shkoder, (North)and inland river valleys in Peqin / Elbasan, Berat / Skrapar, and Tepelene / Permet)

- Nearly 8.5 million olive trees are counted, with more than 28 varieties - typical Mediterranean

- The number of olive trees in production reaches approximately 5.2million.

Olive plantations cover in Albania, about 50,000 ha of agriculture land. In 2012, total production was 4 times more than the volume of 2005. Olive oil production is increasing rapidly in Albania, especially along the coast. The method of cultivation is mainly extensive and often trees are part of the natural environment. Most of the production meets organic standards.

Although Olives are most frequently enjoyed as table olives,are also combined with many foods and is an essential ingredient in many signature dishes. Types of Olives vary by region from Berat where are prized for their unique flavor and low good fat content while olives from Vlora, Borsh, Himara,and Tirana are higher in good fat content and are more often used for olive oil production.

Elbasani Dish ‘Tava e Elbasanit”:An authentic Albanian dish which will give an added taste to the Albanian Pavillion.

Dairy Products: Milk and milk products play a large role in Albanian cuisine. Yogurt is consumed daily by many Albanians, making yogurt the base of many sauces and other dishes. Buttermilk is also very popular, both as an ingredient and as drink alone. Albanian cheeses are unique and also vary byregion. The most popular cheese is white cheese (similar to feta cheese) made from sheep’s, cow’s and goat’s milk, originating from south Albania. This particular cheese is found in many dishes.

Desserts:Albanian desserts originate either from Turkey or Greece and are popular all over the Balkan. These dishes are inspired from both Western and Eastern civilizations. The desserts that are entirely Albanian consist of local fruits,which are used both for compotes, marmalade and for various types of cakes or pies.

As the saying says “Food is essential for living, as air is essential for breathing”, well as human beings we cannot manage the air, but we can manage the way we produce food, the way we manage food, the way how to use innovative ways for sustainable food without harming the planet and fighting for “Hunger Free World”.

We are determined to protect the food and natural resources our country offers by sharing experiences, learning and investing on:

Science and technology for food safety and quality

Science and technology for agriculture and biodiversity

Innovation in the distribution chain for agro-food

Target:Albania is strongly committed to create partnership resulting in sharing and receiving knowledge and experiences on:

- The consolidation of the traditional Albanian cultural identity in the field of agriculture and organic farming;

- Structuring of the local organic system under the best examples, highlighting new measures on production and trade;

- The investigation of scientific, technological, and ethical matters on sustainable development;

- The identifitation of new customer’s needs for new production processes;

- Synergy in the international market through dialogue and interaction;

- Increasing the public awareness and encourage the development of a nationwide market for inputs and organic products;

- Promoting Albania Internationally

· Promoting the international organic networking;

· Promoting Albania as a tourist destination;

· Promoting Albania as an investment destination.

Thematic iteneraries

The Albanian Pavilion’s theme fits perfectly with some of the general thematic itineraries proposed by Expo Milano 2015.

The History of Humanity, stories of food

In this context Albania has much to say …. Albanian cuisine is a blend of influences from Balkan and European cuisine. Albanian cuisine is well known for its high nutritional value and its quite special taste.

Albanian gastronomy can be nominally divided into three regions:

- The Gastronomy of northern regions of the country

- The Gastronomy of central part of the country

- The Gastronomy of southern regions of the country

Apart from the above classification, each region offers not only its particular traditional specialty, but also offers a story for each specialty, that is worth to be heard!

Taste is knowledg: if you do not try it you will never know...

The modern Albanian gastronomyhas become a combination of the traditional and other contemporary culinary elements. Albania like other countries has its own cooking traditions. It is the geographical position of our country which determines its mild climate and Mediterranean influences through the centuries.

Foreign influences have had an impact on our cooking traditions, of course. Moreover, the emigration of Albanians to various countries has given them the chance to get to know various food cultures, and naturally they have brought them home. The tendency to retain traditions in our cuisine and combine them with contemporary external culinary elements is evident. In terms of the common market and knowledge- internationalization this is called evolution.

We believe that by understanding where our food comes from, how it was produced, adults and children can learn how to combine pleasure and responsibility in daily choices and appreciate the cultural and social importance of food.

Our education projects, which are organized for varied audiences of children and adults, differ from most food education as they are based on the idea that food means pleasure, culture and conviviality.

Sustainable food = fair world

Agricultural practices have very real consequences for people's lives, including adverse impacts like food-borne illnesses, groundwater pollution and soil depletion. "Sustainable" can be defined in many ways, but at it’s core is an engagement in practices that keep the environment healthy and food production economically and socially viable without harming the planet. A sustainable community food system is a collaborative network that integrates sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management in order to enhance the environmental, economic and social health of a particular place. One of the most important aspects of participating in this thematic iteneraries is to increase the world wide public awareness that :

Sustainable food = civiled dietary behaviors = healthy growth of new generation = a fair world.

1. Architecture and technology

The architecture will be adapted acording to the shape and the diversity of Albanian beautiful landscapes. In Albania diversified forms dominate the landscape with beautiful combinations of the hilly mountainous uplands and field relief.

The traditional and the modern will coexist together in complete harmony, with many traditional art works on wood, stone, ceramics, mosaics.

Different types of equipment, furniture, technology and electronics will be essential elements of the interior design.

The Albanian Pavillion consist of two floors with total of 250 m² (125 m² ground floor and 125 m² first floor), whereby in the ground floor the exhibition space will be only 60 m². In this space wil be included the kitchen area and the gift shop. The other 65m² will be used for utility rooms as well as for the necessary supporting facilities, whereas the upper level will be used for, offices, meeting rooms and VIP area. Every single space of the Pavillion will be used in the most proficient way.

All the materials used for the Pavillion will be adopted to all the rules and to the widely accepted standartizations.

2. Exhibits and Active Content

The Pavilion will include a wide variety of activities that will complement the content of the exhibition. It will have spaces to conduct cultural events (asseasonal holidays) cultural tradition ( multicultural festivals) , food shows, food workshop (where all the chefs of the other participating countries will be invited to cook albanian food (“Cook Albanian for a day”), conferences, including exhibitions of each Albanian district, different kind of performances (festival of childrens theaters), musical programs combined with folk.

A typical Albanian traditions is the “Wedding Ritual”. Through a performance of this rite Albania will manifest the traditional habits, costumes, music, food and beverage.

The best reward that we will receive from our particapitaon on ExpoMilano 2015, will be the Benevolence Comments shared by the visitors and participating countries in our “Book of Immpressions”.

3. Commercial activities and food services

Business center

The business centre of the Albanian Pavilion will focus on two main goals, respectively: attracting foreign investment in Albania and promoting Albania as a tourist destination, the business centre will be the adequate space for:

- Information about business conditions and investment opportunities in Albania;

- Promoting exports of goods, foods and services;

- Exchanging the best practices on biological agriculture, organic farming and food as well as related industries.

Gift shop

A store where you will meet the spirit of Albania. This space will be on the ground floor of the pavilon, will showcase and sell Albanian souvenirs, Picture Album from Albania, food and beverages, contemporary design objects, handicraft products, traditional textiles and fashion, art books and cooking books.


The Albanian cuisine will be offered not only as a tradition, but also as technical, educational and innovative flavor. All the regions af Albania will be presented , through their taste , to the citizens of the world. Given that the Albanian Pavillion is limited in terms of space, we will only be able to offer catering services with a small bar. Visitors will enjoy our food while touring in our Pavilion.

Among the various delights, you will not miss: “Maza of Vermosh” (kind of polenta made up of soft cheese, butter, maze flour); Carp fish of Shkodra, “Fërgesa” of Middle Albania, ballokume of Elbasan (a big pastry made of maize flour and butter), “petanik” of Korça (pie with dry beans)and pickles; “qifqi” (rice with eggs, mint and pepper) and pepek (a special dessert prepared with soft cheese) of Gjirokastra; “qingj në hell” (skewered lamb), typical of Labëria area-south of Albania or the famous “qahitë” of Çamëria (a sort of pie made up of pastry layers and plenty of butter), jam of Permet accompanied by the best Albanian beverages.