Cookbook:Cuisine of Albania

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Albania on a map of Europe

Albanian cuisine consists of local dishes from around the country of Albania. Many of these dishes are typical of the Balkans and indeed the Mediterranean, but some are local specialties.



Albanian cuisine is primarily influenced by general Mediterranean cuisine as well as Balkan and Turkic/Ottomon cuisines. Its long coastline provides ample access to seafood.



Meat, seafood, and fresh vegetables are all common to Albanian cuisine. It shares in a variety of Balkan dishes, including fried cheese curds, casseroles, stuffed grape leaves, and meatballs. One interesting feature of Albanian cuisine is an avoidance of combining many seasonings in the same dish.

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, olives, olive oil, vinegar and salt.



The desserts most common in Albania are made throughout the Balkans and are probably of Turkish or Arabic origin. Many use a sweet syrup called sherbet. Some desserts include:

  • Bakllava: sweet layered pie filled with syrupy nuts
  • Llokume: Albanian version of Turkish delight, a very sweet jellied confection
  • Kadaif: sweetened baked pastry made of shredded dough
  • Mualebi: thickened milk pudding
  • Revani: syrupy semolina cake
  • Sultjazh: type of pudding made by boiling rice with milk, sugar, and cinnamon
  • Ballokume: butter cookie made with very fine cornmeal
  • Hasudja/hasude: baked cornstarch pudding
  • Trileçe: Albanian version of tres leches cake, made by soaking cake in three types of milk and topping with caramel



Mineral water is among the most preferred non-alcoholic drinks in Albania along with carbonated beverages. Some of these are produced locally and some are imported from abroad. Alcoholic beverages are vastly consumed in Albania, and these include beer (Birra Tirana and Birra Korca are local brands), brandy (Skanderbeg and Vecchia), raki, and wines. Most of these are produced locally, and even by private citizens.

Common ingredients




Carp and trout are preferred, and the coastline provides ample access to seafood.

Fruits and vegetables


Fresh fruits and vegetables are widely available and routinely consumed. Vegetables include tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra, potatoes, cabbage, string beans, onion, garlic, bean sprouts, peas, beans, and cucumbers. Popular fruits include cherries, melons, figs, grapes, apples, peaches, lemons, oranges, pears, and apricots.



Dairy is frequently consumed, typically in the forms of yogurt and a variety of cheeses.




See also