Albania Food and Drink

Albanian cuisine is a heady blend of Ottoman and Italian influences, with heavy stews, smoked meat and pickled cabbage served alongside Mediterranean-style fish, feta cheese and rice. Visiting vegetarians will find themselves eating a lot of salad; luckily, Albanian tomatoes and cucumbers are always fresh and delicious.

When it comes to drinking, you should try one of Albania’s high-quality wines, especially indigenous grapes such as kallmet (red) and shesh (red and white). Grapes are also used to make raki, a clear spirit that will knock your socks off.

Specialities

Koran: A species of trout unique to the Ohrid and Prespa lakes.
Gjize: A salted curd cheese often used to bulk out dishes.
Paçë koke: A thick sheep's head soup.
Kukurec: Sheep's innards in a gut casing.
Jufka: Handmade pasta created using durum wheat flour.
Byrek: A triangular filo pastry usually filled with cheese, spinach or meat.
Fërgesë: A comforting casserole made with green peppers, tomato, egg and curd cheese.
Qofte Fërguara: Fried meatballs combining ground lamb or beef with herbs, feta cheese and bread.
Flija: Enormous pie-like pancake consisting of layers of crepes and melted cream cheese.
Tavë Kosi: Egg, yogurt and lamb baked with soufflé-esque results.
Kafe turke: Turkish coffee made in the traditional Balkan way, with grounds and sugar brewed together.

Tipping

The usual tipping practice is to round the bill up by about 10%.

Drinking age

18

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