Walnut paste is a delicious traditional Albanian dessert that is not well known across Albania, let alone the world. AgroWeb.org has recently found out about it and was shocked to discover that we were not the only one to be unaware of this dessert.

The paste originated in the Mediterranean countries since the ancient times. It is a delicacy that can be found in the Northern Albania, which without any doubt is the motherland of local walnuts.

North Albania walnuts fulfill the quality required for export covering an important share of European imports. International demand for high quality walnuts has been growing since the second half of the 1990’s, partly because of growing interest of consumers toward environmentally friendly and traditional products, but also domestic demand has been high.

The dessert, consisting of simple ingredients, is very easy to make. It is made by mixing a kilogram of semolina with a kilogram of crushed walnuts.

First, pour a glass of water into a pan and heat it. When the water is warm add a kilogram of sugar and stir until the mixture is completely dissolved. Then, add the semolina and walnut and mix thoroughly. Next, sprinkle icing sugar on a tray and pour the mixture on it. Spread the mixture evenly with the back of a spoon and then cut it into diamond shapes.

An important element of this dessert is that oil is not added since both walnuts and semolina are rich in oil - and great for the skin.

Although walnut is simple and can easily be overlooked, it has numerous health benefits. It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals (A, B1, B2, B6 and C) and a small portion contains high levels of phosphorous and protein.

It not only decreases cholesterol but also improves blood pressure. As it is rich in antioxidants, walnuts help reduce stress and fight cancer. It is also a very healthy source of energy and 100 grams of walnuts contains almost 700 kilocalories.

For those who are not so fond of walnuts' distinctive flavor, the paste can actually be a great alternative to high calorie desserts as it is a lot sweeter but without the additives and preservatives ordinary pastes carry.

Unlike peanut butter or chocolate spread, the texture of walnut paste is a lot smoother, with small pieces of crushed walnut, which is actually quite a joy to savor. And if you use Albanian walnuts, it is even better.

Whenever you go shopping you would run into people buying walnuts, looking for walnuts or selling walnuts. The one from Peshkopia stand on the top list: they are bigger and are easy to crack followed by the ones from Librazhd, Elbasan and Kruja./AgroWeb.org