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Albania Cuisine


The cuisine of Albania, as with most Mediterranean and Balkan nations, is strongly influenced by its long history. At different times, the territory of Albania has been occupied by Greece, Italy and the Ottoman Turks, and each group has left its mark on Albanian cuisine. Together with the Greek and the Turkish cuisines, the Albanian cuisine is one of the most famous in the Mediterranean area. This is due to the richness of the vegetation, the multitude of spices and the great number of meat varieties.

The main meal of the Albanians is lunch, and it is usually accompanied by a salad of fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, and olives with olive oil, vinegar and salt. Lunch also includes a main dish of vegetables and meat. Seafood specialties are also common in the coastal areas of Durrës, Vlorë and Sarandë.

Albanian food preparation methods are similar to the ones from Greece, and furthermore, are the same cooking techniques that are used all over Europe. Those who wish to prepare any of the Albanian traditional dishes should have basic information about boiling, frying, steaming, seasoning, salting, smoking and grilling. Each of these methods is used on the ingredients, until a certain effect appears. For example, meat must be grilled until it gets a certain colour. Boiling the vegetables too much can make them to smooth, and the amount of vitamins drops severely.

Albanian Specialties

Fërgesë Tirane, is a hot fried dish of meat, liver, eggs and tomatoes, where as tavë kosi or tavë elbasani, a mutton and yogurt dish. In the summer, tarator, a cold yogurt and cucumber soup, is particularly refreshing.

Popular Albanian desserts include oshaf (a fig and sheep’s milk pudding), cakes soaked in honey and candied fruits or reçel.

Guests of honour are quite often presented with a baked sheep’s head. A favourite in the south is kukurec (stuffed sheep’s intestines).

Continental breakfasts are usually served in hotels, but in the country, the Albanian breakfast of pilaf (rice) or paça (a wholesome soup made from animals’ innards) may not be to everyone’s taste.

The beverage that made Albania popular at least all over Europe is the traditional brandy. Besides that, other famous Albanian beverages are raki, the beer and the several varieties of red and white wine.





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