Albanian cuisine comprises ancient traditions of the population living in the present day territory of Albania many centuries ago, it is mainly influenced by turkish, greek and italian cuisine.
As a rule, the most common dishes that are typical of the Balkan cuisine – are meat dishes. Albania is not an exception, the day-to-day cooking is characterized mostly by slowly cooked meat, the so-called “qofte” or meat balls and various meat broths. Traditional albanian dishes are tave dheu (casserole meat), fergese e Tiranes (veal stewed with vegetables), speca te mbushura (stuffed peppers).
Due to mild Mediterranean climate albanians enjoy cooking fresh vegetables all year around. One of the popular dishes is japrak (grape leaves stuffed with various filling). And pickled peppers with yogurt sauce is a traditional offer for guests as a sign of a great sense of hospitality.
A great vaiety of seasonal fruit and vegetables results in delicious jams cooked from figs, apricots, plums, cherries, blackberry, etc.
The influence of the turkish cuisine can be easily noticed as albanians use herbs and spices to enhance the flavour of the traditional dishes and have them taste perfectly.
An important part of the albanian cuisine is bakery. The local people enjoy baking byrek (pies with onion, cheese, meat and spinach fillings), lakror (pastry cakes with various fillings), krepe and petulla (pancakes and doughnuts). Albania is a paradise for a sweet-tooth. Traditional desserts are revani, trilece, baklava are cooked for all important events.
Albania is an agricultural country rich in dairy products. Cottage cheese, fresh butter, yoghurt, traditional cheese from sheep, cow and goat milk are used by locals in everyday cooking.
Albanians are great fans of coffee traditions inherited since the Ottoman period. A cup of delicious wholebean turkish coffee in the morning gives a great start for a new day.
Albania is a contry of vineyards where fine dry wines are produced. A glass of white or red wine is an important digestive part of meal. Traditional alcoholic drink is raki produced from grapes, plum, blackberry. One of the popular spirits is Skanderbeg cognac named after the national hero of Albania.
Except the traditional albanian dishes you can taste Mediterranean cuisine in the restaurants by sea (mostly greek and italian cuisine with seafood dishes)