Cherry Plum Raki

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Throughout Albania families usually produce large amounts of their own alcohol. The drink appears to serve as a social lubricant, and thus it is consumed whenever people congregate or socialize. It would be considered shameful to have guests and not be able to offer them raki. During wedding ceremonies, the groom’s father goes around all tables and offers a glass of rakia to all guests, sharing a toast for the happiness of the newlyweds. In the region of northern Albania in the valley of the river Shalë, the Shala community prepares raki made by distilling cherry plums, Prunus cerasifera. Cherry plum is also known also as myrobalan plum. The fruits are small and reddish-purple. They are harvested when they begin to mature in September. They are fermented in wooden barrel made from broadleaved deciduous tree, sycamore. After fermentation, they are distilled. The cherry plum raki is only made by the Shala community.
The Cherry plum raki is not sold commercially, and is made only for household consumption to share with family and friends.

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Other info


Distilled and fermented beverages

Indigenous community:Shala
Nominated by:Andrea Pieroni
Arca del GustoThe traditional products, local breeds, and know-how collected by the Ark of Taste belong to the communities that have preserved them over time. They have been shared and described here thanks to the efforts of the network that Slow Food has developed around the world, with the objective of preserving them and raising awareness. The text from these descriptions may be used, without modifications and citing the source, for non-commercial purposes in line with the Slow Food philosophy.