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Flia, also known as fli or flija, is a baked product consisting of multiple crepe-like layers brushed with cream belonging the Albanian and Kosovar gastronomy, though it is found also in Ohrid and Prespa regions of the Republic of Macedonia, where it is known as Gjomleze.

It is an old recipe that has been passed on from generation to generation, and its cooking technique is a very peculiar one. The watery dough made of flour, water, and salt, is cooked on a baking tin placed under a very specific oven called a saç – consisting of a bell-shaped iron dome covered with burning coal. In so doing, the heat permeates the saç, hence allowing the homogeneous cooking of what is placed underneath. Once cooked, the first layer of dough is brushed with cream, and then another layer of dough is added, and so on. It takes from 2 to 3 hours to make this multiple crepe-like layered product.

The secret to prepare a real flia is to use a very specific type of fermented cow milk cream – named kaymak – a renowned diary product famous across the western Balkans and Trace, although increasingly difficult to find. The best kaymak is found in mountainous areas, and so does the real flia. Flia is mainly consumed at home, as a main dish, served with cheese, reqel (marmalade), honey, yogurt, suxhuk (sausage), turshia (vegetables and fruits preserved in vinegar). Due to depopulation of mountain areas and the long preparation that it entails, it is increasingly difficult to find flia in Kosovo, and it’s original taste can be considered endangered.

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Production area:Rugova Valley

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Bread and baked goods

Nominated by:Lendita Hyseni