Sign up to create your custom IntoAlbania trip
Your account has been activated!
This wonderful town in Central Albania is considered one of the culinary hearts of the country. It remains one of the places where traditional culinary art has been fanatically preserved, resulting in a mix of wonderful dishes with very distinct and elegant tastes. These dishes are now nationally renowned, so much so that even Albanians are sometimes unaware of their origins. Without further ado, below you will find Elbasan’s greatest culinary contributions to the country.
Everyone in Albania knows that summer celebrations are inevitably linked to ballokume, the city’s traditional dessert, the preparation of which requires both effort and time. This delicious dessert is a large biscuit made from wheat or corn flour and a substantial amount of sugar. Indeed, its sweetness has become a symbol of the Summer Festival. The preparation of ballokume, however, is a real challenge as one has to adhere faithfully to the steps of the recipe and the careful addition of each ingredient. The latter have to be mixed with a wooden spoon in a copper bowl as tradition dictates.
This yummy summer dish was first created in Elbasan but is now served all over the country! One of the secrets of Tavë Kosi is that it is cooked only with the meat of young livestock. The other secret lies in the process of marinating the meat with an array of herbs. The meat is initially baked by itself in the oven so that it releases all its juices, ensuring the meat’s tenderness. Then, the same meat is drenched in a thick mixture made of egg, flour, and a substantial amount of fresh yoghurt and baked once more. The sour freshness of the yoghurt accentuates the sweetness of the lamb meat for a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth result.
Dough is one of the main ingredients of the traditional cooking belonging to the region of middle Albania. Bugaçe, loaves of bread which come in different shapes, are some of the favorite breakfast items in Elbasan’s peripheral areas. Their dough is prepared with wheat flour, water and salt and worked with hands until the mass can be divided into small balls. Any ingredient already available in your fridge can be added to the mass and, afterward, the breads are reworked into flatbreads which are baked in butter. Bugaçe enrich the morning table with a very tasty traditional taste.
The tables of Elbasan are rich in poultry or cattle-based meals year-round. Porridge with walnuts, an old traditional dish of the area, is usually reserved for the year’s most special occasions. The main ingredient is rooster meat (capon). The secret to perfect porridge is roasting the rooster meat’s juice, nuts, garlic, vinegar and flour in small clay pots which keep a constant temperature, ensuring the preservation of the different flavors. To properly welcome friends, Elbasan locals set table the small clay pots filled with the delicious juice, topped with roasted pieces of rooster meat.
Especially during the cold winter days, Elbasan’s traditional cuisine serves up the delightful Pistil Casserole, a typical winter food that has been passed on through generations for the last two centuries. This traditional dish of lamb or sheep meat is prepared in a clay pot, as this cooking process guarantees its wonderful taste. The recipe includes meat, onions, red pepper, garlic and plum juice which are all boiled together and finally baked. The slightly sour taste of the plums combines perfectly with the sweetness of the lamb meat. No less delightful is the rich color that the dish acquires during its cooking process!
Its name has remained from Ottoman times, and refers to dishes whose main ingredient is poultry. The most important step is boiling the fresh turkey meat, whose juice is then used to cook the trifecta of rice, aromatic spices and butter. Unlike most similar dishes of central Albania, Mysnik does not include onion or garlic. The secret of this dish is to finish it off in style by baking it in a wooden oven, which gives it a distinct rustic taste. You would find this dish on the Sunday table of any local family but it is also served in many restaurants of the city.
Located on the Adriatic coast and only a 30-minute drive away from the capital of Tirana, the beach of Durrës is the longest and most populated one in Albania. Modern architectural structures, like the Sphinx, the vibrant promenade and delicious seafood restaurants are a serious part of this city’s charm. Durrës is also home to [...]
A city rich in history and spectacular landscapes, in addition to being one of the gastronomic centers of the entire country, Lezha packs a full day of valuable and delicious amusement. After you have enjoyed your morning coffee in one of the many cafés in town, head to Lezha Castle, from where you will get [...]
The City of 1001 Windows is a national cultural and heritage center that reserves beautiful strolls along cobbled alleys in its famous Mangalem, Gorica and Castle neighborhoods and much more. One of the most historic and oldest cities in Albania, Berat will fill your entire day with beautiful landscapes in addition to its rich culture [...]
The last coastal city along the famous Southern Riviera is one of the most ideal places to spend your day In reality, the legendary coastal city of Saranda would ideally require more time to be fully experienced. However, if you only have 24 hours to spend here, we can suggest the absolute must-sees of this [...]
Tirana has been Albania’s administrative center for almost a century but this city’s history goes even further back in time. While the toponym Tirana was first mentioned in the 15th century as “Plenium Tyrenae” (“Field of Tirana”), the city became an established settlement almost two centuries later, in 1614, with the establishment of a mosque [...]
The vibrant coastal city of Vlora is a requisite stop for every tourist visiting Albania during the summer. Vlora marks the boundary between two seas – the Adriatic and the Ionian – which, in turn, are simultaneously shared between three countries: Albania, Greece, Italy. Boasting an enviably long and beautiful coastline, the ideal exploration of [...]
Pogradec is the quintessential nostalgic city! This particular sensation arises as you cruise down the national road and an image of utter calm and timeless beauty unfolds before you. The smooth, creamy blue surface of Lake Ohrid, punctuated by lively swans and seagulls! This is the lake of a certain delicious fish called koran, found [...]
This southernmost city in Albania is quite the multifaceted place! An ideal destination for your holidays, year-round. A location full of virgin beaches and delicious seafood. Sharing a border with Greece, Saranda is also a gateway to this other significant cultural destination. Last but not least, entry fees in the most wonderful parks and destinations [...]
Most refer to Dibra’s northeastern highlands as Albania’s roof. This region’s highly diverse nature is due to the high peaks and low valleys found along Dibra’s rugged landscape. As one of the largest geographical areas of the entire country, Dibra boasts more than 50 spectacular natural monuments. Countless caves hidden among beautiful mountains, small lakes, [...]