CulturallyOurs Food Guide From Kosovo National Library

Traditional Cuisine And Food From Kosovo

01.25.20
CulturallyOurs Food Guide From Kosovo National Library

Ten traditional food and drinks from Europe’s youngest country, Kosovo.

It is no surprise that here at CulturallyOurs, we love learning about traditional foods from different places around the world. After all, food is such a delicious way to explore the culture and traditions of a community, people and country. This Kosovo Food Guide explores ten traditional and typical food and drinks you have to try in Kosovo.

Paulina, a travel writer and blogger, takes us along a culinary exploration of this Eastern European country.CulturallyOurs Food Guide From Kosovo Ibrahim Rugova in PristinaFrom Paulina,

Kosovo is considered by some as Europe’s youngest country, while others don’t even recognize its sovereignty. Since declaring independence from Serbia in 2008 it has received partial recognition as a independent state by members of the UN.

Nestled between Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Macedonia, in a place called the Balkans, Kosovo is a fascinating land rewarding visitors with welcoming smiles, charming mountain towns, incredible hiking opportunities, 13th-century domed Serbian monasteries brushed in medieval art, and not to forget its mouthwatering cuisine. Kosovo is a heaven for food lovers as it offers diverse cuisines, reason being, the entire region has seen a plethora of cultural influences over the years which makes its cuisine so diverse.

Here is a list of 10 delicious dishes to try in the Land of Eagles.

#1 Stuffed PeppersCulturallyOurs Food Guide From Kosovo Stuffed Peppers In Tomato SauceStuffed Peppers are popular across the world. However, the Kosovo version, calls for fresh peppers stuffed with minced meat or ground beef, vegetables, and rice as well as spices including paprika and savory.

It is a typical traditional Kosovo summer dish.

One can also find peppers stuffed with kefir and cottage cheese. The peppers are cored, removing the seeds and stuffed in with the ingredients and then baked in a pre-heated oven at 230° for about 45-50 minutes. This typical dish is served in almost all restaurants in Kosovo.

#2 Burek

CulturallyOurs Food Guide From Kosovo Pita Burek Platter With OlivesBurek is a delicious, oily snack typical of the Balkans and probably the most popular street food in Kosovo and the rest of the Balkan countries. It is a pastry stuffed with meat, spinach or cheese and when eaten fresh, it is a sure contender for the tastiest food in Kosovo. Some versions of Burek include rice along with minced meat, making it a perfect all-in-one meal.

The Burek is usually made in circular pans by alternating layers of flaky pastry with the fillings. If you are Kosovo, then don’t forget to try this delectable dish at the Aurora. However, all restaurants serve this dish, but Aurora is the best place to eat.

#3 Tarator

Tarator is a soup, refreshingly cold, simple, herbal, and perfect for a summer evening. It is made with yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, walnut, fennel, and spices with few drops of olive oil as a garnish and is served cold usually with fish or fried seafood as an appetizer.

The Balkan yogurt is tasty, with a wonderfully clean sourness that is more refreshing than other types. The strong tang is perfect for making Tarator which gives it the perfect taste. When in Kosovo don’t forget to gulp down this refreshing appetizer. This soup can be found in all restaurants. Any trip to Kosovo would be incomplete without having a Tarator.

#4 Sarma

CulturallyOurs Food Guide From Kosovo SarmaYou can’t leave Kosovo without trying the Sarma. One of the staples of traditional Turkish cuisine, Sarma consists of a delectable mix of minced meat, veggies, rice, seasonings, red pepper, paprika, ground sumac or tomato sauce rolled in cabbage leaves or vine leaves. It is commonly enjoyed as a filling lunch or dinner typically during the winter season. However, it is often prepared on special occasions and holidays.

The best restaurants to eat this dish are Taverna Tirona, Pishat, Himalayan Gorkha Restaurant, and various others.

#5 Cevapi

CulturallyOurs Food Guide From Kosovo CevapiCevapi is a source of great national pride and the country’s favorite dish. These tiny, hand-rolled minced meat sausages are commonly made with ground beef – or a mix of beef mince with other meats such as pork, veal or lamb and seasoned with a mix of different spices, usually garlic, salt, black pepper, and sometimes paprika or hot red pepper flakes.

After they have mellowed for a couple of hours, Cevapi are barbecued over charcoal. Traditionally one portion of the dish consists of ten pieces served on a soft, moist, slightly grilled flatbread called Lepinja or Somun and a variety of accompaniments such as kajmak, cream spread, roasted red pepper and eggplant relish called ajvarand raw onions. Pishat, Princesha Gresa Restaurant, and Te Syla are the best places to relish Cevapi in Kosovo.

#6 Salsiccia

CulturallyOurs Food Guide From Kosovo Salting SalsicciaSalsiccia is a dry spicy sausage consumed from the Balkans to the Middle East to Central Asia. It is produced with minced meat usually beef and various spices such as cumin, sumac, garlic, salt, and red pepper, all inserted in the casing and left to dry for several weeks. It can be more or less spicy, it is quite salty and has a high-fat content.

Salsiccia can also be eaten cooked. It is cut into slices and cooked without oil as its fat is sufficient for frying. At breakfast, it is consumed similarly to bacon. It is fried in a pan, often with eggs and accompanied by a hot cup of sweet black tea. Many restaurants serve this dish, the famous one includes Home Restaurant and Bar and Princesha Gresa Restaurant.

#7 Hajvar or Ajvar

This traditional peppers-and-eggplant relish is one of the most popular condiments all over the Balkans and Eastern Europe. It is made with red bull horn pepper, hot pepper, eggplant, and garlic; all in variable amounts, depending on personal taste.

The vegetables are roasted over a wood fire and then mashed together into a chunky paste. The roasting of vegetables over a wood imparts a pleasing smokiness to this sweet but tangy relish, making it the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats. It is commonly eaten in autumn as well as throughout the year. It is served in all restaurants across the country.

#8 Baklava

CulturallyOurs Food Guide From Kosovo Baklava DesertBaklava is a star of the Balkan Peninsula and Turkey, you will find it everywhere while visiting Kosovo and in various sizes and kinds. It is a layered crunchy sweet made with honey or syrup, walnuts, and layers of phyllo pastry.

One can find a pistachio version as well which is much tastier. The bitterness of the walnuts makes the baklava a bit less sweet and the use of watered-down honey lightens them versus some other really sweet syrupy versions. Kosovo baklavas are worth trying and go great with rakia.

#9 Slivovica

CulturallyOurs Food Guide From Kosovo SlivovicaSlivovica, plum brandy is a Serbian national drink and one of the best and most exquisite brandies ever. Damson plums are used as the base fruit to make this beverage. The plums and their kernels are crushed and pressed, yeast, starch, and sugar are added.

The mixture is then fermented depending on the desired final product and then aged to enhance the flavors. Some of the best restaurants that serve Slivovica are Soma Book Station, Restaurant Liburnia, Tiffany, Pishat, Renaissance, and many more.

#10 Kosovar Coffee

CulturallyOurs Food Guide From Kosovo CoffeeCoffee is a staple within the entire Balkan region, playing an especially important role in everyday Kosovar life. It is also known as Black Gold and serves various social demands because no matter what, coffee is the meeting point. The traditional Kosovar coffee is brewed and consumed in a very special way and served without milk, not even sugar is added. In today’s world, Kosovars love drinking Espresso as much as a traditional coffee.

Thank you Paulina for sharing the fascination and delicious cuisine from Kosovo. We love how the region and neighboring countries have such an influence in Kosovo’s culinary heritage.

Pauline is a fervent traveler who crossed the Atlantic Ocean by boat hitch hiking. She has been bogging since 2015 and currently shares her passions for sustainable traveling, hiking, cycling and sailing on her blog, Pauline On The Road. She shares her travels in Kosovo in her Kosovo travel guide.

{Words by Paulina; Website: Paulina On The Road ; Instagram:@paulina_on_the_road}

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  1. Nicky says:

    This post is wonderful! You’ve really given me an insight into Kovovar food, and truly it all looks delicious! You can see where the influences have come from, indeed it seems that Kosovo is a melting pot of cuisines from other countries, for instance with the baklava and ajvar. I’d love to taste all these personally!