The Albanians have a very carb-heavy diet. Bread seems to be an integral part of their food, and the Papare stands testament to this.
Albanian Cuisine is famous for the use of Mediterranean herbs like oregano, mint, basil, rosemary, chilli pepper and garlic. Most Albanian dishes are cooked with vegetables. Albanian food is influenced by Turkish, Italian and Greek cuisines.
What is the Papare?
Papare is a famous traditional Albanian recipe. It is usually served for breakfast or eaten as a snack. The word papare is derived from from the English word Paparazzi.
A typical Papare includes bread cooked with water, egg, butter, and Gjize (salted curd cheese). It is a very convenient recipe because it is made with easily available items like dry bread, water and butter (or oil). The highlight of Papare is the crusty texture of the bread.
To make Papare, we need the following ingredients:
4 slices of brown bread chopped, white cheese, a cup of butter or olive oil, meat/cheese brine and oregano, mint or garlic to taste.
Firstly, the butter is melted in a pan and then the chopped bread is added to it. The bread is fried for about 10 minutes and stirred constantly to avoid getting it burnt.
Now, removing the pan from the stove, grated cheese is sprinkled all over the bread. Next, the pan is put back on the stove again and it is stirred for 2 to 3 minutes.
Lastly, meat brine is added and cooked till it is soaked by the bread. An alternative of meat brine is cheese brine, either of these work perfectly.
The Papare is ready after frying it for about 1-2 minutes more. Removing the Papare from the stove, it is put on the plate and garnished with oregano, mint or garlic.
This dish is very delicious and easy to cook. The easy availability of the ingredients, as well as the rich texture the dish acquires upon being prepared make it a convenient, tasty between-meal snack!