Food and Beverages
The desserts that are entirely Albanian consist of local fruits, which are used both for compotes and for various types of cakes or pies. Albanian walnut cake with lemon glaze is a good example.
Citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons are used in many Albanian desserts.
Also, Albanian cuisine features many recipes of puddings, the most important of them being oshaf, which is based on sheep’s milk and figs.
Turkish, Balkan and European cuisine have had a great influence on Albanian cooking, which has become known for highly nutritional and delicious food. Almost every province offers particular specialties, though the cooking of grilled meat, especially lamb, and the preparation of various pies is common throughout the country.
Central and southern Albania are well known for using a large variety of vegetables, olive oil, various spices and lemon. The carp dish Tava e Krapit is especially popular in Shkodra while the Koran with walnuts is particularly loved in Pogradec, and many other fish dishes are very popular within the coastal zones of the Ionian and Adriatic. Albania is also famous for a variety of pastries; a large number of them are common throughout the Balkans and Asia Minor. One of them is Ballokumja, a traditional cake whose ingredients are corn flour, butter and sugar, which originates in the town of Elbasan and is delivered as a treat for the Summer Day’s event (March 14).
As a result of the suitable Mediterranean climate, Albania is known for cultivating grapes and producing a variety of red and white wines. The most famous are: merlot, cabernet, pinot noir, kallmet, sangiovese, riesling, etc. The most famous alcoholic drink in Albania, though, is raki (similar to grappa, whose main ingredient is typically grapes). Some other areas of Albania (Korça and Dibër) use plums to produce raki, while Boboshtica uses raspberries. Albania is also known for producing the famous Skanderbeg cognac, which has won many international awards. Among nonalcoholic beverages, boza (a corn based drink) is produced in the north of the country, especially in the province of Kukësi and its vicinities.