Kosovan cuisine

Cuisine in Kosovo (Albanian: Kuzhina kosovare is similar to the cuisine of the surrounding places (Montenegro, southern Serbia, Albania, Republic of Macedonia), and has been significantly influenced by Turkish cuisine and Albanian cuisine, specifically Balkan cuisine. Common dishes include burek, pies, flija, kebab, suxhuk and other sausages, stuffed peppers, lamb, beans, sarma, burjan, pita and rice.[1] However, the cuisine varies slightly between different regions.

Bread and dairy are important staples in Kosovar Albanian cuisine. The most widely used dairy products are milk, yogurt, ayran, spreads, cheese and kaymak. Meat (beef, chicken and lamb), beans, rice and peppers are, likewise, major parts of the Kosovo Albanian diet. Vegetables are used seasonally. Usually, cucumbers, tomatoes and cabbage are pickled. Herbs such as salt, black pepper, red pepper and Vegeta are also popular.[2]

Kosovo Albanian cuisine has similarity with the Balkan cuisine, influenced by Albanian, Croatian, Serbian and Greek cuisine, especially a notable influence from the Turkish cuisine. Most of the cuisine consists homemade traditional food. Homemade it is not only Kosovo's favorite dish but is significantly the healthiest and freshest way to eat.

Kosovo albaniancuisine is not the same throughout the year. Its cuisine adjusts with the climate and the seasons and different regions in Kosovo have different dishes.The most common dishes like burek, pies, flija, kebab, suxhuk, sausages, stuffed peppers, lamb, beans, sarma, rice dishes and much more are used in the daily cuisine.Dairy products are always present in the daily dishes. The most common ones are milk, yogurt, ayran, spreads, cheese and kaymak. Kosovo's cuisine basic elements that are used to cook traditional food are: Meat, vegetables, herbs(mostly Mediterranean herbs).With the diversity of pies and meat, the Kosovo daily cuisine goes well with hot summers and cold winters.As a result of its continental climate the fresh vegetables are consumed in summer.The most common dishes during the winter time in Kosovo are made out of vegetable pickles and ajvar (hot or mild red peppers). These two dishes are usually done in the late summer days and are being consumed mostly in winter.


Homemade food is still preferred by Kosovar people. Although the new western influence pushes the new generation to eat out, Kosovars usually prefer to eat at home.

Key ingredients

The key ingredient in most pastries is shorbet, which is used as a topping. Shorbet consists of water boiled with sugar. Other ingredients used in most meat dishes are, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, onion, red pepper, black pepper, and salt.


Breakfast in Kosovo is simple, usually consisting of bread and cheese, ajvar or scrambled eggs, with milk. French toast is also eaten by people in Kosovo.

Dairy products

Dairy products play a big role on the Kosovan diet, Šar cheese, cottage cheese, cow milk, goat milk, goat cheese, are widely used and part of the Kosovo daily diet. The dairy products are all locally produced, and you can get some at local Farmers Markets.


The pita is one of the most popular traditional breads, especially during Ramadan. It is usually used for breakfast and, in some cities, you can find somun baked with eggs and sujuk on top. Also, corn bread is very popular in Kosovo; it is called leqenik and it is often filled with spinach, or cheese. Although, it is eaten without any filling as well.[3]


Pies in Kosovo are known as "trejte",[4] or "pite". A variety of pies are common in Kosovo.




Most of the Salads are made quickly and simply. Typical salads ingredients include tomatoes, onion, garlic, pepper, cucumber, potato, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, and beans.

Main dishes

Tava e Prizrenit
Sarma in cabbage leaves
Sarma, peppers filled with kefir and cottage cheese, and pite.

Tavë prizreni a traditional casserole of Ottoman legacy. It is cooked with lamb, eggplants, green peppers, onions, tomatoes and served hot. Sujuk which consists of ground meat, usually beef, but in some non-Muslim parts of Kosovo, it is also made with pork. Pleskavica, çofte, Sarma is a dish used for lunch, very frequently, it consists of meat wrapped with cabbage or vine leaves.[11]


The most used fish dishes constitute of fried freshwater fish, like Zander and Carp. A speciality is considered the tavë krapi, carp cooked in a pot, more widely used in cities around the Dukagjini valley, notably Gjakova because of its relation with Shkodër. The garnish is composed of garlic, bay leaf, tomato, parsley. The head of the carp is usually served to the main guest.[14]



Traditional Kosovan desserts are often made with sherbet, which is cooked sugar with either lemon or vanilla flavor. Baklava is one of the most widely used pastries in Kosovo. Another is Kajmaçin, which is composed of baked eggs, mixed with sugar and oil. Sheqer Pare is a pastry similar to Baklava, as it is topped with Sherbet. Other pastries such as Kaqamak, Tespishte, Rovani, Tulluma and Pallaqinka are also a very popular breakfast foods in Kosovo. They are usually topped with Nutella, Cheese, or Honey. Shampite or Llokuma is served as a treat for children, and mostly as the first treat to guests on the days of Bayram.[15]


A glass of boza

The most popular traditional drink in Kosovo is rasoj. One popular drink in Kosovo is boza, a malt drink made from maize and wheat. Another is grape rakija, the most widespread variety of rakija in Kosovo. Kompot, a drink made from pieces of fruits boiled with sugars, is served during the start of autumn when seasonal fruits such as apples and quince are ripe.

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  1. Ukelli, Fikrije. 1001 Receta për çdo familje.
  2. http://www.podravka.com/company/markets/kosovo/tab-cuisine-of-kosovo
  3. http://ngiju.blogspot.com/2009/06/leqenik-i-misrit.html
  4. https://web.facebook.com/traditashqiptareofficial/posts/508809859249359?_rdr
  5. http://www.kosovoguide.com/?cid=2,227,1011
  6. http://www.femra.net/leqenik-i-shijshem-i-bute-dhe-i-thjeshte/
  7. http://recetatecekes.com/kryelane-misri-me-hithra/
  8. http://www.kuzhinashqiptare.com/receta/rasenik-pite-me-laker-te-bardhe/
  9. http://telegrafi.com/byrek-me-purri-e-qumesht/
  10. http://www.kuzhinashqiptare.com/receta/hithenik/
  11. http://www.kosovoguide.com/?cid=2,227
  12. http://www.scribd.com/doc/11058582/1000-receta-per-cdo-familje-
  13. http://www.artigatimit.com/2013/10/burani-me-spinaq-e-veze/
  14. "Tavë Krapi Shkodrane".
  15. http://rebibneenun.blogdetik.com/embelsira-kosovare/
  16. Bakllava
  17. Rice pudding
  18. http://www.marthastewart.com/852079/kadaif
  19. http://www.instructables.com/id/Cabbage-Winter-Drink-rasoj/

Graham, Adam (20 August 2015). "In Kosovo, a Thirst for Progress, and Beer, Too". New York Times. 

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