Turshi Patllixhani

Vegetables and vegetable preserves - Albania

In Albania, turshi are pickled and preserved vegetables made in the home to be consumed year-round. They can be made with peppers, green tomatoes, cabbage or eggplant. Turshi patllixhani refers specifically to pickled eggplants. Eggplants to be used for this dish should be unripe. They are washed, cut lengthwise and boiled in salted water until they begin to soften. They are then drained and hollowed out, and their flesh diced and mixed with peppers, garlic, parsley, any other vegetables being used and salt. The hollowed out eggplants are then stuffed with this mixture and place over grape leaves in a wooden container. They are covered with salt and oil and weighted down to ferment for 21 days.  Turshi are connected with pastoral traditions, because as a preserved product they could be stored and consumed as needed, particularly during long winters. Families prepare turshi with multiple types of unripe vegetables, particularly eggplant or green tomatoes. This product is widely prepared for home consumption, and now can be found also in markets all over Albania. However, the artisanal method is at risk due to the rise of industrial copies that lack the same quality and production techniques that make turshi unique.