Albanian cuisine

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The cuisine of Albania is Mediterranean, influenced by many including Italian and Turkish cooking. Albanian cuisine is characterized by the use of spices such as black pepper and Mediterranean herbs such as oregano, mint, basil, rosemary and more in cooking meat and fish, but also chilli pepper and garlic. Olive oil and butter are a main ingredient in dishes.

Meat (lamb, beef, chicken, pork and rabbit) is used heavily in dishes in most of the country. Seafood specialties are also common in the coastal cities such as Durrës, Vlorë, Shkoder, Lezhe and Sarandë.

Vegetables are used in almost every dish. Usually, Albanian farmers grow every vegetable present in the Mediterranean region and sell them at the local farmers' market. Vegetables are bought fresh at the farmers' market early in the morning, which is open every day.

The main meal of the Albanians is lunch, which usually consists of gjellë (stew), the main dish of slowly cooked meat with various vegetables, and a salad of fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, and olives. The salad is dressed with salt, olive oil, vinegar and/or lemon juice.


  • Wheat Bread (Bukë gruri) or corn bread (Bukë misri) are ever-present on the Albanian table. Hence the expression for "going to eat a meal" (Albanian: për të ngrënë bukë) can be literally translated as "going to eat bread."
  • Chicken livers
  • Eggplant appetizers
  • Dolma
  • Stuffed Peppers(green peppers stuffed with rice, meat, other vegetables and herbs)
  • Pickled cabbage (Turshi lakre)
  • Fried sardines with lemon (sardele me Limon)
  • Albanian-style meze platters that include prosciutto ham, salami and brined cheese, accompanied with roasted bell peppers (capsicum) and/or green olives marinated in olive oil with garlic or onions.
  • Papare: bread leftovers cooked with water, egg, and Gjize (a special type of Cottage cheese)



Tarator is a chilled yogurt and cucumber drink and is popular in the summer months



  • Tavë kosi, baked lamb and yogurt dish
  • veal or chicken with walnuts[1]
  • Fërgesë of Tirana with veal
  • Fried meatballs or Qofte të fërguara.
  • Kolloface Korçe
  • Veal with very large lima beans
  • Harapash, which is polenta with the intestines of lamb, butter, cheese and corn flour
  • Paçe - This dish is common throughout the country and it is traditionally popular in Albania. Paçe is made with a sheep's, pig's or any cattle's head, boiled until meat comes off easily. It is then stewed with garlic, onion, black pepper, and vinegar. Sometimes a little flour is added to thicken the stew. It makes a hot and hearty winter stew.



Bakllasarëm. It is also called Mantia, but it is not the dumpling form of the Turkish Manti.
  • Byrek — Albanian vegetable pie; it can also have feta cheese, spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, or meat; it's a layered pie also known as "pite" or "pita".
  • Kungullur — Pastry layers filled with mashed pumpkin, butter, salt and sugar
  • Bakllasarëm — A traditional food prepared in Kosovo and Albania: it's layered pie also known as "pite" or "pita" (Byrek) without anything inside, which is covered with yogurt and garlic, and then heated again. It is eaten for lunch.
  • Flia — A traditional food prepared in Kosovo and Albania.


Baklava is prepared on large trays and cut into a variety of shapes

Patisseries are in every Albanian city. The most common desserts in Albania are made throughout the Balkans:


A glass of boza

Mineral water is one of the most preferred non-alcoholic drinks in Albania, along with carbonated beverages. Some of these are produced locally and some are imported.

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