Albanian cuisine

Traditional meal served in an oven-baked clay bowl

Albanian cuisine (Albanian: Kuzhina shqiptare) is the national cuisine of the Albanian people. It is Mediterranean, influenced by many including Greek, Italian and Turkish cooking. Albanian cuisine is characterized by the use of Mediterranean herbs such as oregano, mint, basil, rosemary and more in cooking meat and fish, but also chilli pepper and garlic. Vegetables are used in almost every dish.

The main meal of the Albanians is lunch, which usually consists of gjellë (stew), the main dish of slowly cooked meat with various vegetables, and a salad of fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, and olives. The salad is dressed with salt, olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice.

In high elevation localities, smoked meat and pickled preserves are common. Animal organs are also used in dishes such as intestines and the head among other parts, which are considered a delicacy. Dairy products are integral part of the cuisine usually accompanied with ever present bread and alcoholic beverages such as Raki. Seafood specialties are also common in the coastal cities such as Durrës, Vlorë, Shkodër, Lezhë and Sarandë.


Young girls holding bags of sliced bread


Chestnuts are widely grown throughout Albania


Tarator is a chilled yogurt and cucumber drink and is popular in the summer months



Traditional dish from Hasi Region



Albanian byrek


Baklava is prepared on large trays and cut into a variety of shapes

Patisseries are present in every Albanian city. The most common desserts in Albania are made throughout the Balkans:


Dhallë is a traditional cold drink made of yogurt and water

Carbonated water is one of the most consumed non-alcoholic drinks in Albania. The most famous brand Glina is sourced from the spring baring the same name. Other common drinks include:

See also


Further reading

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