Albanian cuisine – “bread, salt and heart” (bukë, kripë dhe zemër)

“Albanian cuisine – “bread, salt and heart”. This proverb expresses perfectly what Albanians are all about.

We are often asked what the Albanian cuisine is like.

What are the traditional dishes? How do they taste?

* These are interesting questions, which can help you learn a lot about the country. It is best to ask the Albanian mothers, who talk about cooking from the bottom of their hearts. They are very familiar with the preparation of traditional dishes.

* Albanian cuisine has been influenced by the history and development of the country over the centuries. Albanian cuisine has its roots in the Mediterranean cuisine.

* Slow-Food restaurants are often seen in Albania. A special focus is placed on the arrangement of the dishes to promote “love at first sight” for the food. The furnishing, as well as the soul that is put into the cooking, reflect the special hospitality and the heart every Albanian has.

* For Albanians, even in the most difficult times, the preparation and eating of food was a “sacred ceremony”, where the whole family came together, or a friend was warmly invited as a guest, so you often spoke of “bread, salt and heart” (bukë, kripë dhe zemër). This proverb best expresses what Albanians are all about.

* In every region of Albania, generation after generation, traditional dishes, fragrances and authentic taste blends have been preserved. When you travel from one city to another, you will realize how many nuances each one offers.

Needless to say, the basis of Albanian cuisine is meat and vegetables. Besides, the famous “byrek” (stuffed puff pastry) cannot be ignored, which is offered differently in every corner of the country. For the locals, the quality of the products and the taste has always been important.

As on a gastronomic journey, we will take you to the north of the country and leave you there to enjoy: “Flia” in Valbona, “Jufka me pule” in Dibra and “Tavën e krapit” in Shkodra. Far apart in taste, but still closely connected, is the southern cuisine, which brings the sea and fresh fish dishes closer together: “Arapashi” in Vlora and the famous “Qifqi” in Gjirokastra.  In the southeast of the country, in Korça and Rehova, we taste at dawn the flavors of “Trahana” and ” Petanik”. We then stop in Permet to try the famous, diverse “Glikos”. At the end of our culinary ride we arrive in Central Albania, where we are offered “Tava e dheut”, “Tava e kosit”, “Japraket”, “Bollokumet”, “Qumeshtorit”, “Bugaces” or “Revania”.
Albanian winegrowers produce and trade successfully not only at home, but also abroad. On an Albanian table, however, Raki and beer are indispensable.
We hope to have brought the Albanian kitchen a little bit closer. Now we cordially invite you to experience and enjoy them yourself. Discover the unique taste, which you have certainly “never” tasted and from which you will certainly not be disappointed.

© Elvira Balla & Ecotour Albania

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