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.
In the heart of southern Albania, only 30 km from Tepelena, sits Nivica, the charming village that is stealing the hearts of local and international tourists. Nivica is the largest village of the beautiful Kurvelesh province, with an area of 150 square meters. As if suspended on air, the village sits at 750 meters above [...]
Every population of the world, even counting the variety in individual personalities, has its quirky characteristics that make it unique. These often comical traits make people nod their heads in approval and laugh out loud. As you think of all the Albanians you have known or will get to know, keep these five things in [...]
The quieter beaches of Albania often get less of the limelight but they are where we find the tranquility and intimacy we crave without sacrificing any beauty or fun. We understand that many of you would like some peace and quiet this summer. That’s why IntoAlbania has traveled from the north of the country to [...]
A new gem has been added to the already beautiful and quickly-expanding chain of services in Petrela, the lovely village right outside the capital of Tirana. Once you visit, you will agree that this place will lend a fresh new flavor to your Saturday, spent pampering yourself with delicious food and fresh air in the [...]
The largest bookstore chain in Albania handpicks the must-reads of summer 2020. Compiling a summer reading list is one of the most challenging tasks when it comes to vacation preparation. Up there with picking the right destination and booking the room with a view, selecting which books to take with you, or upload to your [...]
Vacationing has definitely changed this year so IntoAlbania pitches in to offer some inspiration for a fun and safe summer in the country. All we can think about in the warm summer months is how to best spend them before they end. Some of us may have already planned our vacations while others are more [...]
Its stunning mountains and beautiful landscape guarantee that you will find an amazing variety of plants in Kukës. Besnik Hallaçi, a biologist and the director of the Administration of Protected Areas in Kukës, has selected 10 of the oldest and most unique plants of the area for IntoAlbania. This perennial herbaceous plant, is found in [...]
Entrance nr. 18 on Him Kolli St. in Tirana will be, from now on, not only the newest publishing house for Albanian up-and-coming authors but an ideal workspace where everything is about books. Let’s begin with the name of this new cultural hotspot: Berk. If it sounds a lot like “book,” that’s because it coincidentally [...]
Hailed as the Thailand of Albania, the pristine Shala River and its surroundings are a spectacular summer alternative to the Riviera and other coastline favorites. Known for its clear aquamarine waters, Shala River’s popularity has sky rocketed in the last few years with more locals looking to the north for their summer fun. Perfect for [...]