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The cuisine of Albania is influenced by Turkish, Greek, and Italian cooking. Every region in Albania and Kosovo has its own unique dishes. Albanian cuisine is characterized by the use of Mediterranean herbs such as oregano, black pepper, mint, basil, rosemary and more in cooking meat and fish. Olive oil and butter are a main ingredient in dishes.
Meat (lamb, cow, rabbit and chicken) is used heavily in dishes in most of the country. Seafood specialties are also common in the coastal areas such as Durrës, Vlorë, Shkoder, Lezhe and Sarandë.
Vegetables are used in almost every dish. Usually, Albanian farmers grow every vegetable present in the Mediterranean region and sell them at the local farmers' market. Vegetables are bought fresh at the farmers' market early in the morning, which is open every day.
The main meal of the Albanians is lunch, which usually consists of gjellë, the main dish of slowly cooked meat, and a salad of fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, and olives. The salad is dressed with olive oil, vinegar, and salt.
- Bread (Bukë) or corn bread (Bukë misri) are ever-present on the Albanian table. Hence the expression for "going to eat a meal" (Albanian: për të ngrënë bukë) can be literally translated as "going to eat bread."
- Chicken livers
- Eggplant appetizers
- Dolma (stuffed pepper with rice and meat)
- Pickled cabbage (Turshi lakre)
- Fried sardines with lemon (sardele me Limon)
- Albanian-style meze platters that include prosciutto ham, salami and brined cheese, accompanied with roasted bell peppers (capsicum) and/or green olives marinated in olive oil with garlic, and hummus.
- Papare: bread leftovers cooked with water, egg, and Gjize (a special type of Cottage cheese)
Bakllasarëm. It is also called Mantia, but it is not the dumpling form of the Turkish Manti
- Byrek — Albanian vegetable pie; it can also have feta cheese, spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, or meat; it's a layered pie also known as "pite" or "pita".
- Kungullur — Pastry layers filled with mashed pumpkin, butter, salt and sugar
- Bakllasarëm — A traditional food prepared in Kosovo and Albania: it's layered pie also known as "pite" or "pita" (Byrek) without anything inside, which is covered with yogurt and garlic, and then heated again. It is eaten for lunch.
- Flia — A traditional food prepared in Kosovo and Albania.
is prepared on large trays and cut into a variety of shapes
The desserts most common in Albania are made throughout the Balkans:
Mineral water is one of the most preferred non-alcoholic drinks in Albania, along with carbonated beverages. Some of these are produced locally and some are imported.
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