Albania has over 4,000 varieties of plants, over 1,000 species of fish, and more than 300 types of wild orchids.
Albanian fruit, in particular, offers a wide variety of fruits to choose from, which are all very nutritious and taste great.
However, Let’s look at the top 21 types of Albanian fruits that you should try while visiting the country. If you want to know what they taste like and how you can use them while traveling in Albania.
What are Albanian fruits?
The Republic of Albania is a mountainous Balkan country in southeastern Europe. It shares land borders with Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, Macedonia and Greece to the east, and Croatia and Italy to the west. The capital city Tirana is home to over 300,000 people, making it one of Albania’s largest cities.
However, part of its long history in trade from ancient times through today. A wide array of Albanian fruits is introduced into Albania’s climate by merchants who brought them overseas.
Thanks in part to its varied geography that ranges from sea level on its southern coast up to snowy peaks. Albanian fruit production abounds across Albania, reaching almost 1 mile (1.6 km) high in northern highlands.
Table of Contents
- What are Albanian fruits?
- Albanian Fruits Basket
- Albanian Berries
- Albanian Blackberries
- Albanian Figs
- Albanian Melons
- Albanian Oranges
- Albanian Peaches
- Albanian Pears
- Albanian Plums
- Albanian Grapes
- Albanian Lime
- Albanian Gooseberry
- Albanian Banana
- Albanian Almond
- Albanian Pomegranate
- Albanian Prickly Pear
- Albanian Plum
- Albanian Star Fruit
- Albanian Lychee
- Albanian Nectarine
Albanian Fruits Basket
Apple trees thrive in Albanian fruits, and their fruits are available nearly year-round. Apples have high levels of vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants.
Also, they are low in sugar, so enjoy them as a healthy snack or add them to salads for some crunch. Red apples are also used in many traditional Albanian fruits, dishes, and drinks. So keep an eye out for those while traveling around Albania for Albanian fruits.
What makes apricots so unique? They are bright and flavorful summer Albanian fruits. They give and add pop to your salads and desserts.
Apricots tend to be a bit sweeter than other similar fruits, meaning they make delicious jams, jellies, or preserves.
However, they are also one of nature’s gifts concerning jam-making—just imagine what they could do for your toast. As a source of Vitamin A and many other nutrients, apricots are one fruit you can’t go wrong adding to your diet.
Moreover, the thing is, once you start eating them fresh from the tree (or off your counter), it can be hard not to indulge in a few too many.
One of the Albanian fruits, its most famous product, Albanian berries, is a premium natural sweetener. They add sweetness and deliciousness to any dish, but they also come with extra health benefits.
In addition to antioxidants that help promote good cardiovascular health, Albanian berries have been known to reduce cholesterol. And is also known to lower blood pressure.
They’re also a source of riboflavin, which is essential for several bodily functions, including energy production and the proper functioning of cells and organs.
However, the berries themselves are dark purple in color, similar in hue to blueberries or blackberries. You can either munch on them raw or add them into fruit-flavored drinks like juice or smoothies.
When summer rolls around, it’s good to pick some Blackberries. They are just as delicious as blueberries but are less well-known in America.
These Albanian fruits are fruity treats that can be eaten fresh from bushes or purchased in grocery stores year-round.
Moreover, It’s important to note that any berries you purchase in the store should be thoroughly washed with hot water. And also scrubbed with a mild soap.
While Blackberries grow on bushes throughout Albania, most grocery stores will import them from other countries for distribution. Fortunately, these tiny berries aren’t harvested until mid-summer.
They don’t spoil quickly. So you can enjoy fresh Albanian fruits even if they were shipped from another country weeks earlier.
Figs, a Mediterranean Albanian fruit, are considered a delicacy in Albania. They are commonly consumed dried or even used as an ingredient in traditional desserts and pastries.
Also, Figs are often associated with good luck and prosperity because they are said to resemble money bags when they’re ripe. Their sweetness pairs well with many different types of cheese and makes for a fun snack any time of day.
The Gjirokastra region in Southern Albania produces a sweet, juicy cantaloupe called Kamie-Perbinc. which is both sweet and salty with a crisp texture. The Albanian fruits are harvested from early July through September in Northern Albania.
However, you can find another popular melon rich in Beta Carotene called Shqiponja (which means giraffe). It is also known as Albania’s Red Gold due to its red flesh and beta carotene content.
You can eat it raw, but it is usually cooked with sugar or honey. You can also add fruit juice for an extra nutritional boost!
One orange grown in Albania is called the Burlat. Its name comes from its outer layer. Which is reminiscent of a porcupine’s quills, and it tastes sweeter than any other orange you’ve tried. The Albanian fruits can grow up to 15 inches long and 4 inches wide.
However, it can be eaten whole or juiced and consumed alone or mixed with water. Another one worth trying is known as Java Citrus. It grows in western parts of Albania, like Vlorë County, and has a sweet taste.
History states that Albanian fruits have grown peaches since antiquity, but it is not until 1985. They officially recognized a fruit native to Albania.
The standout is one of four fruits protected by PDO status in Albania, ensuring they are locally grown and processed.
However, peaches are often used in jams, orchard beverages, and even ice cream, ensuring both quality and quantity. One hundred percent pure peach juice (made from frozen peaches) can be purchased from locals during harvest season.
Considered one of the Albanian fruits, the most delicious native fruit, pears are a great source of fiber and vitamin C. Pears originated in Asia. They spread across Europe before arriving in Albania—thus becoming a part of Albanian cuisine.
Moreover, Pears are often used as a dessert, pickled, or juiced. Most varieties have small leaves that help shade their fruit from sunlight, thus reducing sunburns and preserving quality. While you can purchase them fresh at local markets, many prefer canned pear.
Nevertheless, canned pear is also found in most grocery stores outside Albania. With such wide varieties available, it’s easy to see why they’re such popular native Albanian fruits.
A small plum Albanian fruit that grows in a wide range of colors, from pale yellow to deep purple. They’re usually available in late May and early June. Plums are highly nutritious, containing vitamins C and K and magnesium, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants.
In terms of flavor profile, they’re something like a cross between apricots and peaches; tart. Also sweet with a rich texture, they pair well with savory foods such as lamb or feta cheese.
The most prominent and common Albanian fruits in Albania are grapes. Grapes grown in Albania are considered some of the best in Europe, with several different varieties that grow during different seasons.
One type is popularly used to make wines, while others are primarily eaten fresh or dried as raisins. However, no matter how they’re prepared, grapes can be enjoyed during any season.
And it goes well with several foods, particularly meats. Enjoy them on their own by snacking on a handful or serving them alongside appetizers like kallumak (spinach pie) or Cymax ujori (cheese pockets).
Nevertheless, they can also be incorporated into your favorite breakfast dish! The possibilities are endless when enjoying these rich fruits from Albania’s fertile fields.
A type of Albanian fruit typically grown in Albania, it is known for its tart and slightly bitter taste. However, they are green in color and have a hard texture when raw. As a general rule, if you like lemonade, you will enjoy eating Albanian limes. If not, then maybe not so much.
Albanian gooseberries have anti-inflammatory properties like other dark, purple fruits (plums, raspberries). Research shows that adding them to a blended drink could help slow cancer cell growth and stop tumors from spreading.
However, sounds too good to be true? We’re not done yet—Albanian fruits and gooseberries are rich in vitamin C. Same thing are also with antioxidants.
Suppose you need an added incentive for including these in your diet. Also, their flavor is reminiscent of cranberry or raspberry juice. More proof that good things come in small packages!
It’s easy to underestimate a banana, especially if you live in a place where they’re relatively abundant and inexpensive.
But anyone who’s ever tried one will tell you that they’re so much more than just a convenient source of potassium. These Albanian fruits, also bananas, are sweet, soft fruit with a delicate texture.
Also, it’s suitable for everything from smoothies and shakes to eat on its own or incorporated into desserts. (like our Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pudding). What else can we say? Bananas are nature’s gift. (Source)
The Albanian fruits, almonds, are sweet and tart, with a lovely floral aroma. This tasty fruit goes great on pancakes or over ice cream. These are best eaten in early fall or late summer. Their peak season is from July through September.
Nevertheless, serve them chilled or at room temperature, whatever you prefer. Keep in mind that if you refrigerate these little beauties for too long, they will become quite sour and disagreeable. That’s why we suggest eating them shortly after purchase.
Also, eat them before they wilt to maintain their maximum flavor potential. Don’t be afraid if your fridge goes through a little bit of natural rot; it’s just part of nature’s circle of life!
Pomegranates are found throughout Albanian fruit, ranging in color from dark red to deep garnet. While they may not be native to Albania, they’ve become an essential part of Albanian culture.
They have their own National Day, But if you aren’t familiar with them, you may wonder why such a fuss is made about one particular fruit.
Moreover, It’s not just because their colors are so pretty—it’s also because pomegranates taste great. Pomegranate juice is highly healthy for both your body and brain.
It also has various antioxidant properties shown repeatedly to help fight cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and heart disease.
Albanian Prickly Pear
Prickly pears are small, yellow Albanian fruits found on prickly pear cacti. They have a firm texture with a spicy-sweet flavor similar to kiwis and mangos. Prickly pears are very perishable, so make sure you use them within a day or two.
However, you can add them to salads, smoothies, or vegetable sautés. Here is an easy recipe for prickly pear jam that is great on toast.
Also, crackers or as a spread for chicken, pork, or turkey sandwiches. Give it a try! If you can’t find prickly pears, papaya makes an excellent substitute. (Image courtesy Flickr).
This plum is mainly sold on a stick, but it can also be found in jars as part of a traditional pudding. If you’re looking for something sweet, look no further than an Albanian plum. They’re juicy and jam-like with a concentrated sweetness that resembles marmalade.
However, It’s hard to believe these delectable bites are packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants. They are usually eaten as desserts and other Albanian fruits such as apples or pears.
Albanian Star Fruit
The thick skin of a star fruit may be intimidating, but don’t let it fool you—the flesh is sweet and flavorful. Inside, you’ll find five distinct segments, ranging from mild to spicy in flavor.
However, like other citrus fruits, the star fruit Albanian fruits contain vitamin C. If you enjoy sour flavors (think cranberries or green apple), then give a star fruit a try. You can also add it to your next chicken or fish dish for a refreshing twist on an otherwise plain entree.
Albania Lychee is the tiny fruit of a large evergreen tree native to Asia, cultivated in northern Albanian fruits. Lychee is served fresh or dried, and it’s trendy during Ramadan when it’s soaked in cold water overnight before being consumed as part of an evening meal.
Moreover, unlike other types of lychee, these are highly prized for their exceptional taste and texture. You can enjoy it the best during the summer months and early fall. Look for them at your local farmer’s market if you can’t find them at a grocery store nearby!
Nectarines are Albanian fruits, popular in Albania and other Mediterranean countries. They’re versatile and delicious Albanian fruits. They can be eaten fresh or cooked, used in pastries or preserves, or even made into a refreshing juice.
Nevertheless, Best of all, they’re usually easy to find at local markets and specialty stores. Moreover, Nectarines are also easy to cultivate, making them a popular choice for small-scale farmers all over Albania.
Nectarines have large pits that can be difficult to remove with your bare hands; luckily, most Albanians use fruit knives (designed explicitly for peeling peaches) instead.
Albania is well known for its fertile land and bountiful harvests of Albanian fruits. However, the same cannot be said for its culinary culture, much like in other Balkan countries. Many ethnic dishes have remained unchanged over hundreds of years.
However, this is beginning to change as many smaller restaurants open up. People start to experiment with Albania’s vast array of fresh produce.
If you’re traveling through Albania or are just curious about what foods await you. Here is a list of common fruits found throughout Albania