Ark of taste
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Among the most culturally important wild herbs that are used in food preparation in northern Albania are the leaves of Allium triquetrum, locally known as lertha. The leaves are medium green and markedly angled. Crushed leaves or any part of this plant will provide a garlic aroma. This wild plant has white flowers, which are carried on a triangular stalk. The usage of lertha is associated with a historical community of shepherds, whose name comes from the region they live in, Kelmend, in the mountainous borderland towards Montenegro. The Kelmendi community was mentioned for the first time in a 1497 in tax registry. Lertha has a strong cultural link to the local community. Outside of Kelmend, Albanians rarely use this wild garlic. It can be gathered during the late spring and summer only. Normally children and teenagers harvest it. All parts of the plant are edible. It can be eaten raw or cooked in soups. It is also used as a filling in traditional pie, byrek.

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Vegetables and vegetable preserves

Nominated by:Andrea Pieroni