The cuisine of Albania is influenced by Turkish, Italian cuisines, as well as ancient Greek and Illyrian, ancient Roman and Byzantine cooking. Every region in Albania and Kosovo has its own unique dishes. Albanian cuisine is characterized by the use of various mediterranean herbs such as Oregano, Black Pepper, Mint, Basil, Rosemary and more in cooking meat and fish. Olive oil and butter is also a main ingredient in different dishes.
In Albania, meat (lamb, cow, rabbit and chicken) is used heavily in various dishes in most of the country. Seafood specialties are also common in the coastal areas such as Durrës, Vlorë, Shkoder, Lezhe and Sarandë.
Vegetables are used in almost every dish. Usually, Albanian farmers grow every vegetable present in the Mediterranean region and sell them at the local Farmers Market. Vegetables are brought fresh at the Farmers Market early in the morning and this market is opened everyday.
The main meal of the Albanians is lunch, which usually consists of gjellë, the main dish of slowly cooked meat, and a salad of fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, and olives. The salad is dressed with olive oil, vinegar, and salt.
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