Food in Albania
Restaurants are extremely simple to locate. Albanian cuisine, like that of the rest of the Balkans, is heavily influenced by Turkish food. This impact comes from the region’s 400-year Ottoman dominance. Following the collapse of communism in the early 1990s, recent influences have come from Italy and Western Europe in general. The majority of what is accessible in neighboring countries such as Greece and Italy will be available in Albania, especially in bigger cities.
Many people cultivate fruits and vegetables in their backyards, most notably all types of grapes (red, black, and green), which are used to create raki.
Albania is a hilly nation, and the olive trees that grow there have an impact on Albanian food. Salads are often prepared with fresh tomatoes and onions. Most Albanians bake their own bread, although eating out is extremely popular.
Albanian meals usually feature some kind of substantial stew. These stews are simple to prepare and versatile in terms of ingredients. They include potatoes, onions, rice, and other grains.
If you visit Albania, you can anticipate lamb to be the primary meat in many locations. Lamb is raised naturally and has no stink, like it does in North America. Two byreks and an ayran is a popular breakfast, so give it a try to see why.
- Byrek – a kind of savory pie that is prepared in a variety of ways – is also popular. One method is to use spinach and feta cheese. Another option is to use ground beef and onion. Byrek Shqiptar me perime is often regarded as the national dish.
- Tavë kosi – It’s a basic meal of roasted lamb and rice with a yogurt sauce. It is often considered to be Albania’s national dish.
- Qofte të fërguara – Fried meatballs with feta cheese from Albania. Traditionally accompanied with fried potatoes or rice.
- Cheese – a variety of cheeses, mostly feta. Be prepared to receive your cheese in a less sanitary manner than you would at a supermarket, but it’s worth a try since it’s generally tasty and reasonably priced (try those higher priced first). The feta cheese from “Gjirofarma” is identical to Greek feta cheese, although somewhat more costly. However, most restaurants, particularly in Tirana and the south of the nation, serve this cheese. It’s extremely tasty, and it’s one of the few cheeses exported from Albania.
Desserts and snacks – Don’t miss out on the numerous pastry shops (pastiçeri) that provide a broad range of exquisite pastries, including delectable cakes and:
- Baklava is a famous dessert that is always served on New Year’s Eve.
- Oshaf – Pudding with fig and sheep’s milk
Drinks in Albania
The popular alcoholic strong drink is raki, which is made locally in small towns as well as in many rural houses; in certain cases, you may see men washing down breakfast with a few shots. Try the mulberry rakia – Albanians are the only people in the world who make this drink with mulberry and plum, and it’s wonderful, particularly in the Gjirokaster area. The number of handmade beers, wines, and raki accessible is as diverse as the people; the quality of these beverages is as diverse as the amount available.
Non-alcoholic beverages vary from well-known worldwide and regional soft drink brands to those manufactured locally. In Albania, you may get every kind of soft drink, as well as natural mineral water, energy drinks, and so on. Qafshtama water is regarded the finest and may be found across the nation. Boza, a famous sweet drink prepared from maize (corn) and wheat, is a traditional Albanian drink, and Albanians have long been regarded as the world’s finest boza producers. You may also try Dhalle, a kefir-like drink with ayran roots.