Albanian cuisine reflects a mixture of influences from the Turkish, Balkan, and European cuisine. It is known for its high nutritional values and its delicious taste. Every area offers distinct specialties. Meat prepared on the skewer and the different kinds of pies are well known in the whole country. Southern and Central Albanian cuisine is known for the extensive use of vegetables, olive oil, herbs, and lemon in its cooking. Shkoder (carp casserole), Pogradec (alcoran casserole with walnuts) and the coastal area of the Ionian and Adriatic are known for their fish dishes.
Pjate 2A variety of deserts, which also emerge in other Balkan countries and Asia Minor, are found in Albania (such as: baklava, “kadaif,” “sheqerpare,” “hashure’). One of the most traditional deserts is “ballokume,” which is prepared in the city of Elbasan for Summer Day celebrations (held on March 14th).
Due to its Mediterranean climate, Albania is known for its grape cultivation and the production of various red and white wines. The most common varieties are: Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Kallmet, Sangiovese, and Riesling. The traditional alcoholic drink is called “raki” (a kind of brandy produced from grapes). Plum “raki’ is also produced in some areas of the country, such as Korce and Diber, while mulberry “raki” is produced in Boboshtive. Albania is also known for the production of its Scanderbeg Cognac, often mentioned for its taste and interesting bouquet. Albanian cognac has also won international recognition.
Among the non-alcoholic drinks, it is worth mentioning “boze” (a refreshing drink made of corn), which is produced in the north of the country, especially in Kukes, and also “rehani” (a drink made from grape juice), which is the typical drink of Skrapar.