Raki Rigoni

Ark of taste
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Raki rigoni translates to “oregano brandy,” and is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages in the region of Përmet, in southern Albania. It is made from the wild white oregano growing in the region. Raki rigoni requires a long time to produce. About 50 liters of water and 10-15 kg of the oregano are left in a barrel. After two or three days, the wild white oregano starts to ferment, a process that is visibly notable in the barrel. The mixture must be stirred over the next days until it stops bubbling. This process lasts about 10 days. Once the fermentation process finishes, the mixture is put into a normal brandy still, and the normal process for making the raki is followed. Raki rigoni undergoes only one fermentation.  

Making this oregano brandy is one of the oldest culinary traditions of Përmet. Raki rigoni was often consumed during harsh winters and used to aid respiratory ailments. This spirit is mainly made in the area of Dangëllia in very small quantites. It is not sold commercially, and made only for household consumption. It is feared that this tradition is being lost from the area as people abandon the local villages and move to other areas. There are fewer people among the younger generation interested or available to continue distilling this spirit made with a local wild herb. 

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