"Didn't you taste" Tavë dheu? "- Well, you didn't taste the taste of Tirana! Tirana and its old culinary traditions.
Art of typical Tiranese cuisine
Carefully observe the coincidence of this correlation:
Tirana and its link with one of the basic natural elements: "The earth".
"The earth", understood precisely, as one of the four natural elements, from which originates every substance of which the matter is composed.
Of "Terra cruda", the tiles are composed in the walls of the native houses of Tirano, the so-called "Qerpiç ”And, in“ Terracotta ”instead, the culinary specialty is prepared and served, queen of traditional Tiranese gastronomy, with liver and“ gjizë ”, - a sort of ricotta but, but that ricotta is not -“ TAVË DHEU ”.
Typical traditional Tiranese culinary
"Tavë dheu" or "Mixed liver, ricotta (gjizë), tomatoes, spices, in terracotta pan" - served boiling, is the excellence of the traditional Tirano table!
Here, "Tavë dheu", in case you happen to go to Tirana, in the traditional places you would find it at the top of the ranking of the recommended tiranesi culinary specialties. Today they prepare it instead of liver, with meat just as much, but the real traditional recipe includes only the liver.
Now, we try to make translations from Albanian into Italian. But it must be borne in mind that in cases of purely peculiar denominations and descriptions of a place - of any field: gastronomy, architecture, urban planning, etc. - it cannot be translated literally, but we try to adapt words and elements in the best possible way, by placing them side by side. the most appropriate term in this case, Albanian / Italian.
This, just to make you understand for example that not only, in Italy these specialties do not exist but, many organic and typically Albanian ingredients of these dishes, are only adapted in Italian. As in the case of one of the ingredients of "Tavë dheu", "ricotta". The latter is not exactly like Italian ricotta. In Albanian it is called "Gjizë", and has a completely different texture and salty taste. It is very good.
Once upon a time, in the Old Bazaar - Pazari i Vjetër in Tirana, - 900 began - there were all the streets adjacent to the market which reported as names the names of the professions of the artisans who were selling their products right there. And, in this regard, there was also the narrow road of the "Gjizna", in the Tiranese dialect, which took its name from the production of the "Gjiza", and which meant the sale of dairy products in general, "Bulmet" otherwise called in Albanian.
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Traditional Tiranese gastronomy
I personally, when I go to Tirana, prefer to eat "Tiranese" and not European. Europe and even the world, in gastronomy I find them even in Italy where I live in the end.
Today, in Albania, the traditional local cuisine is preferred only by a part of the population. To the one more linked to the ancient local tradition and by foreigners who want to taste and explore typical local specialties.
There are some nice places that faithfully keep the ethnological and rustic aspect of the typical Tiranese house with brick walls made of raw earth, "qerpiç".
For the rest, in Tirana you will find luxurious venues that in Italy you don't easily see and consume a multinational menu of the type: Italian, Greek, Turkish, Japanese, Mexican, American, etc., in short, you eat a little like all over the world , in a mixed manner. It is not my intention to talk about the foreign cuisine present in Tirana, I repeat it in fact.
So, back to the
Typical tiranesi specialties
To do this, it must be said that a good part of these recipes took effect in the '20 -'30 years, the years of the King Zog's monarchy, and in Tirana there was wealth, abundance for which, even the dishes were substantial, with rich ingredients and condiments. They are a bit like our childhood dishes. When we couldn't even get to know lasagna, risotto, pizza etc.
The Tiranese woman prepared another very favorite dish typical of the capital:
- "Gjellë me mish me narden" - "Beef stew with plum mustard"
- Then, of the "Fërgesë vere"
- "Contour of ricotta" / gjizë ", peppers and tomatoes".
- "Byrek me qumësht" - "Byrek al latte". - Savory puff pastry and milk cake.
- "Byrek me patëllxhanë"
- "Byrek with eggplant", the latter very much appreciated by me.
These, as typical of Tirana but, naturally, byrek came and is still prepared with all the possible and imaginable fillings, like the one with yogurt and eggs; the one with minced meat; the one with onions and tomatoes; the one with the leeks; the one with spinach and white cheese, with pumpkin etc
- Do not miss the "Kukurec", a roll made with lamb entrails.
- "Çorbë" - "Ciorba", meat and vegetable broth.
- "Plëndës" - Tripe.
- "Paçe me pilaf" - "Paçe" is a soup made with the head or feet of cattle, with various spices, prepared with mastery by the Tirano chefs, in short, they are a bit of various specialties of first courses in meat broth. And the latter is accompanied by rice-pilaf.
- "Bamje me mish" - L'okra, or "Bammia d'Egitto" or "Corna di greci" with meat stew.
- Then there are still the various specialties of stuffed vegetables like stuffed aubergines - "Imam bajalldi", are Arab recipes revisited and adapted in Albania, stuffed peppers, zucchini and stuffed tomatoes
- "Pastiçe" - the baked pasta made of spaghetti, milk, eggs and white cheese.
Typical dishes of Tirana
1. "Tavë dheu" - "Mixed liver, ricotta - gjizë, tomatoes, spices, in terracotta pan"
2. Stew with gombi
3. Stuffed eggplant - "Imam bajalldi"
4. Meat dish
As for sweets, in Tirana there are pastry shops that preserve tradition and where you can find sweets and pastries, even from the time of totalitarianism. There is no shortage of oriental sweets in bakeries like baklava, kadaif, llokume, tullumba etc. All, lined up in confectionery, alongside sweets of elegant and refined recipes likewise.
As for drinks, the autochthonous tiranesi tables have as queen of spirits, "raki" - the home-made brandy, and instead as a non-alcoholic beverage of the past, but which is still on the market, "boza".
- Boza, a drink to be considered "popular" because, not only prepared with simple and genuine elements based on corn, but above all because it is served cold and consumed also in the street, in the squares, without great refinements. It is in Albania that it is prepared especially with corn, while in Turkey, Bulgaria and other Balkan countries it could also be produced with other cereals such as wheat, chickpeas and barley.
- "Shurup trëndafili" was a refreshing drink that was not lacking in Tiranese houses, "syrup with rose petals", sweetened, left to soak in water and citric acid (in Albanian "limontos").
- At one time, for newborns, mothers and grandmothers from Tirana prepared "muhalebi", a sweet jelly with rice and milk flour, as baby food.
- Today, as a typical dessert in traditional Tiranesi venues, "hasude" is served, a sort of gelatinous dessert with corn starch and sugar. This is also baked.
Here, I tried to stick to the characteristic elements of the old traditional and peculiar Tiranese menus. Without great refinements, but genuine.
A few days ago I was in Tirana and I naturally went to traditional Tiranesi, of which I am attaching some photos.
Typical sweets and drinks from Tirana
1. Rakia, the queen of spirits in Albania
3. "Ëmbëlsirë me peta e me krem" - Puff pastry cake with cream, the Albanian version of cream brioche
4. "Ëmbëlsirë me peta e me krem" - Puff pastry cake with cream, the Albanian version of cream brioche
5. Boza - a non-alcoholic drink to be considered "popular" and prepared with simple and genuine elements based on corn
Now I invite you to read Tirana with its history, its origins, its uses and customs, with its folklore, its local language, its urban planning and architecture, its gastronomy, music and culture