Albanian food is popular for its rich meat dishes and also the desserts, which are not only very sweet but also rich. Positioned along the Mediterranean, the cuisine of Albania is influenced greatly by the Ottoman culture from Turkey and the Italian cuisine. Tomato and cucumber based salads; desserts such as Baklava and even the popular Pita are from Albania.
History of Albanian Cuisine
Albania is known for its range of foods that include fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry and fish. This country’s cuisine has been influenced since ages by its neighboring countries such as Turkey, Greece, Italy, etc. The seasonings and garnishing have been a result of these influences and because of the easy availability of nuts such as walnuts, pine nut, almonds, etc., most gravy dishes include sauces made from these nuts.
Popular Dishes of Albania
Albanian food is known for its salads such as Albanian Potato Salad, Albanian Tossed Salad, Bean Salad, soups such as Potato and Cabbage Soup, Bean Jahni Soup, meat dishes such as Tave Kosi, Fried Meatballs, Harapash, vegetable dishes such as Dolma, stuffed aubergine with cheese, Byrek pies, and popular desserts such as Baklava, Halve, etc. The Albanian people love their mineral water, carbonated drinks and coffee over other beverages. Seasoned vegetable dish that include tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, marrow, okra, squash, potatoes, cucumber, etc., is also common in Albania.
Widely Used Ingredients in Albanian Cuisine
Albania is popular for the use of certain ingredients such as goats’ and ewes’ milk, and their products such as cheese, corn and other grains such as wheat, rye, oats and barley, vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, peppers, zucchini and cucumber, olive oil, garlic and onions, citrus fruits and their juice.
Popular Dishes among Tourists of Albania
Certain dishes of Albania are popular with the tourists of the country. These dishes include Baklava, Pita, Chicken Livers, Eggplant appetizers, Pickled Cabbage, Tarator, Oven baked trout with onions and tomatoes, Veal with large lima beans, Peppers stuffed with meat, rice and vegetables, Byrek feta cheese pie, and beverages such as Boza and Raki; all of these and more are some popular Albanian food among the tourists.
Influence of other Cuisines on Albanian Cuisine
The food of Albania food is influenced greatly by Italian, Greek, Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines and this can be seen in dishes such as Bakllasarem, which is a layered pie prepared in Kosovo and the same can be seen in Albania as well. Sweet puddings and thin crispy pastries filled with nuts, spiced with cinnamon and coated with sweet syrup are some desserts that are similar to neighboring countries such as Greece and Turkey. In fact, the thin pastries of Albanian food are similar to the Phyllo of Greece.