Kosovan cuisine

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The Kosovan cuisine (Albanian: Kuzhina Kosovare) is a representative of the cuisine of the Balkans and consists of traditional dishes by ethnic groups native to Kosovo.[a] Due to historical and ethnic connections with Albania, it has been significantly influenced by Albanian cuisine and has adopted elements of other Balkan countries.

Bread, dairy, meat, fruits and vegetables are important staples in Kosovan cuisine. With diversity of recipes, the Kosovan daily cuisine adjusts well to the country's occasional hot summers and the frequent long winters. As a result of its continental climate, fresh vegetables are consumed in summer while pickles throughout autumn and winter.[1]

Breakfast in Kosovo is usually light, consisting primarily of a croissant with coffee, sandwiches, scrambled eggs, omelettes, petulla or toast with salami, processed cheese, lettuce and tea. Cereals with milk, waffles, pretzels and homemade pancakes with honey or marmalade are also frequently consumed especially by children.


Common dishes include pies, flija, stuffed peppers, legume, sarma, kebab/qebapa etc. Notwithstanding, the cuisine varies slightly between different regions of the country.

The most common dishes during the winter time in Kosovo contain pickles like sauerkraut, green tomatoes, cucumbers, cauliflower, and condiments such as ajvar (hot or mild red peppers) which is usually seasoned in early autumn. They do also form popular appetizers throughout the year.


Varieties of bread are available throughout the country. Notably: baguette, cornbread (also known as "Leqenik"), kifli and whole wheat bread among others.


Pies in Kosovo are known as "trejte",[2] or "pite". A variety of pies are common:

  • Kollpite- a baked crust with nothing inside and covered with yogurt [3]
  • Burek- also known as pie in Albania. Byrek is made of pastry layers filled with minced meat, white cheese, spinach.
  • Bakllasarm - a salty pie with yoghurt and garlic covering[4]
  • Kungullore- savory pastry with pumpkin filling
  • Pite me Spanaq- savory pastry with spinach filling, also known as Spanakopita [5]
  • Leqenik, known also as Kryelanë (Krelanë) [6][7]
  • Resenik - cabbage pie [8]
  • Purrenik - leek pie [9]
  • Hithenik - nettle pie [10]



Typical salad ingredients include tomatoes, onion, garlic, pepper, cucumber, potato, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, and beans.

  • Potato salad
  • Tarator - a traditional salad made with cucumbers, garlic and yogurt. Very popular dish for summer.
  • Tomato and cucumber salad
  • Dried nettle salad
  • Bean salad
  • Shope salad - a simple salad made of tomato, cucumber, onions and white cheese.

Main dishes[edit]

Tava e Prizrenit
Sarma in cabbage leaves
Sarma, peppers filled with kefir and cottage cheese, and pite.

Tavë Prizreni is a traditional regional casserole from the southern city of Prizren. It is made with lamb, eggplants, green peppers, onions, tomatoes and is served hot. Sarma is also another popular lunch dish which (although not limited to) consists of minced meat wrapped with cabbage or vine leaves.[11]

  • Stuffed peppers - with meat, rice and vegetables
  • Lasagne - alternated with sauces and various other ingredients
  • Qebapa - small grilled meat skinless sausages made of lamb and beef mix; served with onions, sour cream, ajvar and pita bread (pitalka)
  • Cabbage roll
  • Macaroni - pasta
  • Salsiccia - traditional sausage
  • Tavë [12] - a traditional dish with lamb chops
  • Tavë Kosi - baked lamb with yogurt


The most popular fish dishes constitute of fried freshwater fish like zander and carp. A speciality is considered the tavë krapi, carp cooked in a pot, more widely used in cities around the Dukagjini valley, notably Gjakova because of its relation with Shkodër. The garnish is composed of garlic, bay leaf, tomato, parsley.



Traditional Kosovan desserts are often made with sorbet which is enhanced with lemon or vanilla flavour. The mainstream pastries include Baklava (regional), Cremeschnitte, Pudding, Crêpe, Tulluma, Tespishte, Rovani, etc.

  • Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey.
  • Rice pudding is a dish made from rice mixed with water or milk and sometimes other ingredients such as cinnamon and raisins. Different variants are used for either desserts or dinners. When used as a dessert, it is commonly combined with a sweetener such as sugar.
  • Cremeschnitte is a chantilly and custard cream cake.
  • Kek a similar form of sweet dessert to cake.
  • Havell is a flour-based sweet confection of non Kosovan origin.
  • Sheqerpare


Drinking coffee is part of a big tradition in Kosovo.[13] It is widely consumed and served everywhere at cafés, bars or restaurants. There are several varieties of coffee popular in Kosovo, which include instant coffee, brewed coffee, turkish coffee and italian coffee.[14]

The most popular traditional drink in Kosovo is Rasoj which is made of a fermented red cabbage. Another popular beverages include boza, lemonade, kompot (usually drank during the autumn and made with seasonal fruit such as quince), beer, as well as coffee and teas.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008. Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo is currently (this note self-updates) recognized as an independent state by 98 out of the 193 United Nations member states. In total, 113 UN member states recognized Kosovo at some point, of which 15 later withdrew their recognition.


  1. ^ "FOOD". beinkosovo.com. Pristina. p. 1.
  2. ^ "Kuzhina Kosovare Fjala kuzhinë thuhet... - Kultura dhe Tradita Shqiptare". Web.facebook.com. 2014-07-30. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  3. ^ https://www.tasteatlas.com/kollpite
  4. ^ "Bakllasarëm - Kosovar Cuisine - Kosovo". KosovoGuide.com. Archived from the original on 2016-04-07. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  5. ^ https://www.kuzhinashqiptare.com/pite-me-spanaq/
  6. ^ "Leqenik i shijshëm i butë dhe i thjeshtë!". Femra.net. 2014-06-20. Archived from the original on 2017-07-18. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  7. ^ "Kryelanë misri me hithra - Recetat e Cekës". Recetatecekes.com. Archived from the original on 2016-11-19. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  8. ^ "Rasenik – Pite me lakër të bardhë - Receta + Fotografi". Kuzhina Shqiptare. 2017-01-03. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  9. ^ "Byrek me purri e qumësht". Telegrafi. 2010-02-24. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  10. ^ "HITHENIK - Receta + Fotografi". Kuzhina Shqiptare. 2017-01-03. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  11. ^ "Kosovo Kosovar Cuisine". KosovoGuide.com. 2014-08-24. Archived from the original on 2016-04-02. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  12. ^ "1000 receta per cdo familje". Scribd.com. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  13. ^ Verena Knaus, Gail Warrander, Larissa Olenicoff , Bridget Nurre Jennions (5 October 2017). Kosovo. Bradt Travel Guides, 2017. p. 68. ISBN 9781784770587.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ "2 Turkish coffees + 3 macchiatos + 4 cups of tea = 1 day in Kosovo". brittanyinkosovo.wordpress.com. 19 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Cabbage Winter Drink (rasoj)". Instructables.com. 2014-12-21. Retrieved 2017-01-24.

External links[edit]

Graham, Adam (20 August 2015). "In Kosovo, a Thirst for Progress, and Beer, Too". The New York Times.