Wild Fig Gliko

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves - Albania

Gliko fiku i eger is a type of preserve made from wild figs that is prepared throughout the district of Përmet in southern Albania. The sweet wild figs grow uncultivated in the valleys along the mountain rivers and streams. They are harvested from April to May. Once collected, to prepare the gliko, the stems of the fruit are cut and the figs are pierced several times to make them permeable. Then, the fruits are washed and put into boiling water for about seven minutes. This boiling makes them less sour. Then the fruits are placed into cold water to stop the cooking. Then the fruits are gently squeezed. Then they are weighed, and in a proportion of 1 kg of fruit to 1.4 kg of sugar, they are placed into a container. This container is filled with boiling water and left to reach a concentration of 75%. Then, citric acid and rose juice is added. Finally, the gliko is placed into glass gars that are sealed and ready to be stored or sold.   Wild fig gliko is a dessert that is served on its own, often at celebrations such as family feasts on the occasions of engagements and weddings to welcome new guests into the home. It has been produced in Përmet for at least 150 years. However, the production quantity is limited because the figs are not cultivated, and it is difficult to find the wild figs in large quantities. According to one producer, the average quantity produced annually is about 500 kg per year. Wild fig gliko can be found in local markets, and is also made for personal use. Today it is at risk of disappearing because younger generations have little interest in local culinary traditions like making wild fig gliko. Therefore, the number of people still producing it at the homemade level is diminishing, and there is only one small company that produces wild fig gliko at an artisan level for the local and national market.