Where East meets West.
The Balkans is a geographic area in Southeast Europe with various definitions. Balkan cuisine can be found in Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and Turkey.
The term “Balkans” sometimes has negative connotations associated with the region’s history of ethnic divisiveness and political upheaval. The distinct identity and fragmentation of the Balkans owes much to its common history regarding centuries of Ottoman conquest and to its very mountainous geography.
Despite its turbulent past, The Balkans are home to some of the most hospitable people around. There is an old Albanian proverb that states, ‘Shpija para se me qenë e Shqiptarit, asht e Zotit dhe e mikut’, which means ‘Before the house belongs to the owner, it first belongs to God and the guest.’ Hosts will typically serve guests copious amounts of traditional food and homemade fruit brandy known as raki or rakija. In this fragmented land, it is food and drink that bring people together.