Albania is a country placed on the Balkan Peninsula, in the southern Europe. The capital of the country is Tirana. Albanian cuisine is a mixture of different types of meals including seafood since Albania goes out to sea.
Albanian cuisine is similar to gastronomy of neighbor countries but throughout history it was under the unique influence of Greek, Turkish, Italian and Syrian cuisine. This cuisine is well-known for its nutritive value and especially for its delicious taste. It is mostly recognizable for specialties made of sheep meat and lamb meat. This meat is certainly mostly present in Albanian cuisine and certainly most popular but it’s not the only type of food you’ll meet here. Albanians are also fond of stewed vegetables, different types of vomit and moussaka. Moussaka is a meal made of meat, potatoes and vegetables. The base of this cuisine are different kinds of pies. They are very popular not only among the residents of Albania but also among everyone who visit this country.
Cheese, especially called shepherd’s cheese is something really special. The most popular vegetables of Albanian gastronomy are the fresh one. People here enjoy eating tomatoes, cucumbers, different types of peppers, garlic, onion and olives. Most salads, especially those made of olives consist of fresh vegetables, salt, oil and vinegar. Albanians really enjoy eating different types of appetizers, soups, bisques, broths, and other kinds of soups. Meals made of sauerkraut are quite common and very popular in this part of the world. Albanians also enjoy different delicacies.
In coastal areas, by the Adriatic and Ionian Sea, and in places near or on the lakes such as Drac, Scadar, Vlora, Pogradec and Saranda, seafood is main dish and important part of cuisine.
The most important meal in Albanian cuisine is lunch. This meal is main and most abundant. It’s quite important for people here. The lunch here consists of, primarily (mostly sheep or lamb) meat and salad made of fresh fruit. If there is a meal you shouldn’t skip if you ever come to this country, that’s definitely lunch. The importance of this meal here is huge mostly because it gathers the entire family. It’s always been very important for people in this part of the world.
There are many specialties made of meat and Balkan Food would like to present at least one so you could try it and picture how great this cuisine actually is.
Lamb with yoghurt sauce – recipe
- 5kg of lamb meat
- 4 tea spoons of butter
- 2 table spoons of rice
- Salt and pepper
- 1 table spoon of flour
- 4 tea spoons of butter
- 2l of yoghurt
- 5 eggs
- Salt and pepper
Cut meat into four equal pieces. Salt it and put pepper (as much as you want). Bake it in the oven at medium temperature. During baking process add butter partially and spill over with the meat sauce. When it’s half-baked add rice, get it out of the oven and leave it out while you prepare sauce.
For sauce, mix flour and butter until the mixture becomes smooth and fine. After this, add yoghurt, eggs, salt and pepper and mix all the ingredients well. In the end add flour. Pour the sauce over the meat and bake it for about 45 minutes on 200 degrees.
This lamb in yoghurt sauce is one of the most famous and favorite specialties of traditional Albanian cuisine.
Although there are many “imported” delicacies, like in every other country, Albanians are quite loyal to tradition. Traditional food is highly respected and a very important part of every holiday and celebration. The same is with candies. Even though we cannot say they are closed for foreign gastronomy, domestic is definitely more popular and cherished.
The most famous delicacy is “trileca”. This is Albanian sweet miracle. It is great and very easily prepared. There are many different ways people make this candy today, but the original recipe is well preserved. Since it’s easily made you can find it everywhere, both in houses of ordinary people and in numerous confectioneries all over the country. It is really popular in Drac, Scadar, Vlora and Fier.
Albanians are very proud of this delicious candy. They won’t hesitate to give you the recipe or to serve you this if you come to their country. If you want, you can make it yourself.
Here is the recipe. Groceries you need to prepare “trileca” are: eggs, sugar, flour and three types of milk (fresh milk, cream and powdered milk).
First separate egg white and egg yolk. Mix egg white well and then add sugar. When this is done, add egg yolk, mix again and bake for thirty minutes at middle temperature. Once it’s baked and slightly chilled add all types of milk. Put caramel on top of the cookie since this is its inevitable part. It honestly tastes great.
Most popular “non alcoholic” beverage in Albania is called “boza”. This is a refreshing beverage made of corn especially popular in northern parts of Albania, in Kuks mostly. “Rehani” is also very popular, particularly in central Albania. This is a drink made of grapes.
Coffee, tea, other fruit juices are popular all over the country.
In parts of the country where people drink alcohol, different types of schnapps are very popular. Among all the others, mulberry schnapps is truly most popular.
Albanian cuisine is a mixture of different influences of neighbor and distant countries. It accepted many things from foreign cuisines that throughout history came in touch with this country but kept its uniqueness and tradition. It is quite tasty, special and above all not expensive. If you visit Albania, you’ll notice that the food is really affordable. This is one more reason to visit this special country and enjoy its cuisine.