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Seventeen Should-Attempt Conventional Albanian Dishes

For the first-time customer, Albanian delicacies may appear mysterious, however when you’re a eager pupil of geography and historical past, you may have the ability to think about what it could possibly be like. A rustic’s delicacies is formed by each its place and its previous, and also you’ll discover that in Albania these forces come along with scrumptious outcomes.

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Mediterranean Components

Albania’s location within the Mediterranean means you possibly can anticipate all of the hallmarks of the Mediterranean eating regimen. Key elements are olive oil, recent fruit and veggies, and fish as the principle supply of protein. Olive oil is essentially the most incessantly used vegetable fats in Albanian cooking, produced since historical occasions all through the nation significantly alongside the coasts.

Balkan Flavors

As a part of the Balkans, with its telltale Ottoman influences, you’ll discover Albanian dishes heat, with rounded flavors that mix to nice impact with these Mediterranean elements. One lucky legacy of the isolation of the communist regime is that farming in Albania has remained small-scale and domestically owned, leading to fruit and veggies that arrive in your desk tasting as you keep in mind out of your childhood.

What’s on the menu?

With such abundance from land and sea, you’ll discover a wealthy selection of dishes. From Balkan and Ottoman-influenced pies, pastries, and desserts, to well-prepared Mediterranean staples with tender meat fish, and an emphasis on easy, tasty elements. Don’t anticipate the menu to remain the identical all through the nation, despite the fact that it’s comparatively small. The terrain performs a giant half too. Domestically grown, raised, and caught, produce is most popular, and custom runs deep right here. At all times ask what the native specialty is, to make certain you’re actually tasting the very best Albania has to supply. KM-Zero consuming is a lifestyle.

Albanian Breakfast Dishes

Recent yogurt with honey and nuts

It sounds easy, and like one thing you may even have at residence. In case you discover this at your breakfast buffet, give it a strive. Albanian recent yogurt is subsequent stage. And when you’re touring on the highway that goes by the Llogara go, make sure to cease on the place with the very best yogurt and honey within the nation. Your driver will know the place!

Petulla – Albanian donuts

Think about donuts, however with out the sugar. That’s just about a petulla – it’s fried dough constituted of flour, water, salt, and yeast. They’re eaten on their very own, with a salty feta-style cheese, or sweetened with honey, or berry fruit like raspberry. In case you’ve had a Calabrian zeppole, then you definitely’re conversant in this. In reality the Arbëreshë, Albanian communities dwelling within the South of Italy might need imported them to Italy.


Ask an Albanian who remembers communism and so they’ll let you know all about trahana. Occasions of shortage and hardship can result in innovation. Trahana is made with wheat flour or semolina blended with yogurt or milk. You may discover it served as a plain porridge, on dry bread, with olive oil, or melted butter blended with pink pepper. Bitter trahana is formed into small balls, or rectangular blocks, and dried within the solar. When dry it is vitally gentle and might maintain for a really very long time. Though born from poverty, trahana is gaining floor in eating places the place it’s mixed with a risotto or a soup.


Byrek, or burek, relying on the nation you’re in, is THE road meals of the Balkans. It traces its origins again to the Ottoman period, and originates in what’s now referred to as Turkey. It may be eaten any time of the day however makes for a implausible breakfast on the go. Fillings you’ll discover vary from the pretty normal cheese, meat, and potato, to extra intriguing pumpkin, nettles, cabbage, zucchini or leek variations. Most byrek will appear like these present in different nations, however within the central and southern a part of Albania, you’ll discover pispili, a model made with corn flour.

Albanian Appetizers, Soups, and Aspect Dishes

Tarator – Chilly Yogurt Appetizer

In case you’ve been to Turkey you may suppose you realize Tarator, a dip constituted of walnut, bread and garlic, however you don’t know Albanian Tarator. Right here it’s a chilly cucumber soup with dill and yogurt. Bulgaria’s model is comparable too, and in Hungary you’ll additionally discover a model, with just a few completely different elements. It’s often served with some recent bread, and a salty feta-style cheese.

Kackavall – baked cheese

This conventional cheese is similar to Italian ​​​​Caciocavallo, itself not too completely different from an aged provolone. Produced from cow or sheep milk the consistency relies on which animal’s milk it was made with. Normally baked and melted, with chopped tomatoes and herbs served as a aspect dish with meat, or as an appetizer. 

Speca te Mbushur me Salce Kosi – Peppers Filled with Bitter Cream

This uncommon dish combines pickled inexperienced peppers with bitter cream. The spiciness of the pepper and the bitter cream play off one another to nice impact.

Qifqi – deep-fried balls of rice, egg, and herb 

Qifqi (pictured above) is a standard dish from Gjirokastra that’s exhausting to seek out anyplace else. In case you’re visiting this UNESCO listed city in your tour of Albania, make sure to strive it. You’ll discover it on most restaurant menus all through the city. Qifqi is a straightforward however tasty dish. Boiled rice, egg, and herbs, together with mint, are blended collectively and shaped into balls, fried in a particular pan with preserves the spherical form. Some variations comprise cheese. Attempt each and decide your favourite! Qifqi are often served with a dip or sauce of some form.

Qofte – Minced meat kabobs

You’ve most likely heard of kofta, the household of meatball, meatloaf, or skewered minced meat dishes discovered all around the world, from the Balkans, the Center East, and South Asia. Qofte is the 

Albanian model. Within the traditional meatball form, they’re both grilled, baked, or fried. The protein used is kind of versatile too, you’ll discover them constituted of minced beef, lamb, pork, and even rooster. In addition to the meat, numerous greens, herbs, and spices might function. Qofte are often served as an appetizer or aspect dish. It’s usually served with a salad, and a yogurt to dip it in, together with some bread. Probably the most conventional recipe is made with diced lamb and herbs.

Albanian Fundamental Dishes & Stews

Tavë kosi

“Tavë kosi” (above)is an genuine Albanian casserole that originates from Elbasan, a metropolis close to Tirana. You’ll discover slight variations of this dish all around the nation and in Kosovo. The recipe modifications subtly relying on the native preferences however the principle elements embody lamb, rice eggs, and yogurt. Together with different herbs, the elements are then put in a casserole and cooked within the oven. Tracing its origins again to the fifteenth century, the unique recipe requires kos, Albanian soured milk constituted of sheep or goat milk. In fashionable variations of the recipe the soured milk has been changed with yogurt and eggs. Tavë kosi me mish pule is the title of the rooster model.

Jani me Fasule – White Bean Soup

This straightforward meatless soup was one of the vital incessantly ready through the famine of the communist period, due to its low price of elements and being very filling all the identical. The elements used are white beans, tomato sauce and onions. Typically completed with pickled greens and yogurt. Even after the famine handed, Jani me Fasule remained extremely popular.

Paçe koke – Lamb or Goat Head Stew

Stews don’t come any extra conventional than this in Albania, and the way many people can say we’ve eaten a stew constituted of the top of a ruminant? The animal’s head is boiled in water, and a choice of recent greens and herbs are added, reminiscent of celery, carrots, onions, parsley, and bay leaves. When the meat is falling off the bone, it’s eliminated and added to a roux, together with garlic and tomato sauce. The ultimate step recombines the meat and the clear broth till it reaches the correct consistency. Paçe koke is often served with plain white rice.

Gjel deti me përshesh

Simply as within the US or the UK, turkey is a standard function of vacation eating tables, often ready for Christmas or New Years Eve.  Gjel deti me përshesh is baked turkey with cornbread mash. The cornbread is crumbled into the cooking juices of the turkey, together with small items of turkey liver, onion, leeks,  and a mixture herbs and spices. The turkey is completed individually, and on the finish served with the përshesh (crumble), topped with melted butter. The distinctive taste mixture is kind of spectacular.

Koran fish casserole with nuts

In case you’re spending any time in Albania you’ll nearly actually be drawn to the coast, with its recent fish and seafood from the Adriatic and Ionian seas a giant a part of the gastronomic attraction. However Albania can also be a land of river and lakes, and freshwater fish are served extra inland. Trout is commonest and is the fish of selection for the koran fish casserole, which additionally options tomatoes and nuts.

Albanian Desserts

To not be outdone by the starters and mains, conventional Albanian delicacies has just a few candy surprises so that you can end your meal with.

Gliko – Preserved entire fruits or nuts

Preserving entire fruits or nuts is fashionable all through the Balkans and mediterranean. In Albania these are all referred to as Gliko, and it has a robust custom. Gliko is made by preserving numerous fruit and veggies, all grown domestically by small-scale farmers, in both spirits, juices, or syrup. The most well-liked form is constituted of recent entire inexperienced walnuts, however you’ll usually discover white cherry. fig, apricot, plum, and even eggplant. Normally served in a small dish, you eat gliko with a spoon. Some of the stunning and distinctive forms of gliko is made with watermelon rind. Now you realize what to do with all of the leftovers after you may have a watermelon!

Ashure – candy porridge

One other dish with its origins within the Ottoman period, ashure is a candy porridge, served chilly and constituted of nuts or dry fruit, and has a gelatinous consistency that melts within the mouth, providing you with the possibility to understand the style of the elements.


We’ll spherical out our record with a really Albanian cookie. Ballokoume, like tavë kosi, originates from town of Elbasan. Historically ready to have fun the pagan vacation of Dita e Verës, which takes place on March 14th, first solely in Elbasan, and since 2004 the entire nation as a nationwide vacation. Produced from simply 4 elements: cornflour, butter, sugar, eggs, this candy and chewy cookie is a candy deal with value looking for out.

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