Albania is the country that amazes people with its trees and mountains, lively seaside cities, UNESCO sites, Ottoman period architecture, ancient ruins, and more. But the country has plenty to offer if gastronomy is one of the main reasons you travel. We all love to dine on delicious food, and if it’s traditional it is all the better. Here we are looking at some of the most popular traditional foods in Albania where dishes are mostly composed of meat and vegetables, though you will certainly also find desserts in case you have a sweet tooth.
1. Byrek (a layered pie)
2. Tavë kosi (a quiche-like dish)
Tavë Kosi (“soured milk casserole”) is made of rice and lamb baked with eggs and yogurt. Seems to be the best food to recover all the protein and carbs, in case you have plans to workout in Albania. Well, sightseeing can also be quite physically demanding. Tavë Kosi is the typical fare of Elbasan city, near Tirana.
4. Fërgesë (fried cheese or curd with peppers and tomatoes)
Fërgesë is mostly available in Tirana and areas close to the capital city. Perfect to have with homemade bread, the dish is made by cooking tomatoes, peppers, and cottage cheese together.
5. Fried kaçkavall (fried cheese)
6. Qoftë (grilled meatballs)
Qoftë, as you might have guessed, is like kofta found in the Middle East. They are delicious meatballs. In Albania, they come grilled, fried or baked, and in various different shapes. Seasoned with mint and spices, Qoftë is usually served with raw onion and salad. In some places, it is accompanied by yogurt with fennel and cucumber. In Korça, a popular town in Albania, you can also find a type of meatball called Kernaçka. In Albania, there are many shops called Qofteri that offer Qoftë and beer.
7. Perime në zgarë (grilled vegetables)
9. For your sweet tooth
10. Fileto pule me panna dhe kerpudha (grilled chicken)
This is for those who looked at the list above and were disappointed not seeing any dish made with chicken. It is true that meat and veal are the favorites of Albanians. But there are good chicken dishes to try too. Like Fileto pule me panna dhe kerpudha, which translates to grilled chicken breast with a cream sauce and fresh mushrooms.
There's surely moreOf course, there is more to try in the Land of the Eagles. There is Qifqi (rice balls), Pispili (cornbread and vegetables), Kebabs, and more. You might find Paçe, in the menu, made by boiling pig, cow, or sheep heads. The meat that comes off it is used to make a stew with garlic, onion, and spices. Then there is the polenta based Harapash, made with lamb intestines, cheese, butter, and corn flour. And not to mention frog’s legs! Yes, you read that right. They are a staple of Gjirokaster in southern Albania. Albanians also have wine and beer with their food. Both red and white wines are available in the country. But their national drink is Rakia, a grape brandy with as much as 55% alcohol. So there you have it. Albanian traditional food is calling out to you. Have you made your travel plans already?
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