Dibra Jufka

Preparation Method

To make jufka, flour is mixed with milk, eggs (four yolks plus four whole eggs per kilogram of flour), and salt. The dough is left in a dry place for 1-5 days to naturally then it is divided into medium-sized balls, which are rolled out into wide sheets (up to 30 cm wide). These are left to partially dry and then rolled up and cut lengthwise into thin,
ribbon-shaped noodles. After completely drying, the jufka can be stored in cardboard or wooden boxes or in bags. It is important that the noodles are well ventilated to prevent mold.

Jufka is a traditional handmade pasta. It is usually made with highquality whole-wheat durum (Triticum durum) flour ground in water-powered mills. The use of eggs and milk, which give it a pleasant flavour, distinguish this pasta from other pastas made in the region. It may be one of the oldest types of pasta in Europe. The pasta is usually made during the summer, as it is easier to dry it at this time of year. In the past, the fields of Dibra, in northeastern Albania, were planted with a special variety of local durum wheat called karabash, which was cultivated mainly for jufka production. Nowadays jufka is made with imported flour.

Product History

Jufka is well known for its distinctive flavor and artisanal preparation. Dibra County, where this pasta originated, has remained relatively conservative and has not become over developed, which has helped to preserve the region’s culture and gastronomy. Jufka was traditionally soaked in animal fat or cooked together with a chicken and its stock, until the liquid evaporated.
Jufka has also been found among the Arbëreshë, a community of Albanians living in Southern Italy since 1480, which implies that this traditional pasta is at least several centuries old.

Jufka has always been produced mainly for home consumption, but it is now possible to buy it in some markets. It is prepared by women in the households of Dibra. During the Communist Period, when traditional recipes were discouraged and crops were managed by the state, many people forgot how to prepare jufka. Today, only a limited number of women retain the knowledge.

Source: ‘Arka e Shijes’, Dhurata Thanasi (Luga e Argjendtë)

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