Altin Prenga – Europeans Making a Difference
This is a beautiful dream come true. We can offer a unique culinary experience
because what Albania offers is truly fantastic,
through valuing nature, local territory
and working within the local economy.
My name is
I was born in Fishta, and this is where I founded the agrotourism restaurant “Mrizi i zanave”.
I was 15 years old when I left Albania.
At that time the village was in poverty and it was difficult for someone coming from a farmer’s family.
When we came back in 2009, we decided to open a slow food restaurant in a rural area
which respects Albanian values and traditions.
My idea was to create optimism, so that this region is not abandoned
and this dream does not cease to exist, because without the local farmers
and the local economy, my agrotourism business wouldn’t exist.
What I learned in Italy was how to prepare food,
how to process milk, cheese and Italian meats
as well as how to prepare jams.
This is when I discovered my passion for this job.
“Think globally, eat locally.”
This is not a saying we invented,
this relates to the life philosophy and the way of working which we have created here.
We hired farmers who inherited their traditions and skills from their own grandmothers.
I am very happy that we work with around 400 local families who deliver produce.
Without these 400 families delivering wild herbs, pomegranates,
and the fantastic milk, our business wouldn’t exist.
This is what Europe means: wherever you are, wherever you go, you can be proud
of coming from a small place, your dialect and your culinary traditions
while promoting the values of small cultures, because at the end of the day
this is what Europe is – a union of wonderful cultures.
Personally I cannot wait until we join the EU.
My children were born in Europe and I want them to grow up in a European Albania
with all the European standards from agriculture and rural development to education and health.
I hope that we will soon be part of the European Union.