Gjirokastra has its own unique aromatic herb. It is called manxurane, or ‘Origanum Majorana’. Every old gjirokastrian house cultivate this plant. If you go to old traditional houses, you can see this plant in balconies, or amid different flowers in the yard.
The most unique thing is for what is used this herb. In this case, gjirokastrian are adding it to the home made coffee. There is a special way to prepare coffee in their tradition. They have a special stone, with a hole, and there they put some coffee beans and smash up them with a big rock or a stone tool. With the coffee beans they put some leaves of manxurana to have a better and special taste. And they know what they do. The taste is just amazing and very aromatic.
When they serve this coffee to you with in a small cup, they put some leaves of manxurana too, behind it. It is good to see the herb that you also have inside the coffee.
There are many songs about this tradition. In the songs, gjirokastrians appraise the housewives who serve you this kind of coffee with manxurana. They also called beautiful girls manxurana, or compare aromatic things with manxurana.
Good to have this tradition, which is continuing in some houses in Gjirokastra.