Traditional Maltese Cuisine
So Very Mediterranean
If you haven't tried Maltese cuisine yet, you're in for a real treat!
Maltese food is simple, full of colour and flavour and very Mediterranean. It is based on fresh seasonal produce and fish, but it is also influenced by Sicily in the south of Italy and North Africa.
Marsasxlokk is a picturesque little fishing village in the south of Malta where locals go to buy the freshest seafood, fruit, vegetables and other delights at the Sunday market.
And if you're there early enough you can see the fishermen bringing in their catch of the day.
Here are some very traditional Maltese foods you might like to try on your visit to Malta.
Traditional Maltese Cuisine: Starters
Maltese Bread: There's nothing like the smell (or taste) of freshly baked bread, especially if it's Maltese bread! It's traditionally made from sour dough with a crisp and crunchy crust. It's great on it's own dipped in olive oil, or smothered with tomatoes, mint, sheep or goat's cheese, onion, anchovies and cold pressed olive oil -- a summer favourite!
Bigilla is a traditional dip that used to be sold from carts on the streets around the villages. It is a broad bean pate that is served with galletti, traditional water biscuits. It is a favourite with the Maltese people.
The traditional cheese of the Maltese people is Gbejniet which is made from either sheep or goat's milk. It can be fresh, sun dried, salt cured or peppered.
Probably the best way to sample some of the above delights is to order a Maltese platter at one of the countless wine bars scattered across the island. And don't forget the Maltese wine to go with it.
Of all the Maltese food, Pastizzi is probably at the top of the list as far as favourites go with the Maltese. It is a savoury, flaky pastry (a bit like filo) and it's traditionally filled with ricotta cheese or peas.
Traditional Maltese Cuisine: Mains
Ravjul is similar to the Italian ravioli but the pasta pillow is larger and it is filled with ricotta cheese and sometimes parsley. It is topped with a tomato based sauce and sprinkled with a good serving of parmesan cheese. The taste varies from village to village but it is delicious.
Rabbit is an extremely popular dish with the Maltese people and is cooked in a variety of different ways. It may be simmered slowly in a tomato based sauce which is then served with spaghetti. It can also be fried in garlic and wine. Rabbit is one of the staples of Maltese food that is limited only by your imagination.
Bragoli also called beef olives, is a thinly sliced piece of beef filled with bacon, hard boiled egg and parsley. It is then rolled and secured with a toothpick or string and slowly simmered in a tomato based sauce. Delicious!
Traditional Maltese Cuisine: Sweet Treats
The Maltese people don't like to waste anything so stale bread was used to make what is commonly known as Puddina. This delicious bread pudding is made from day old bread, cocoa, sultanas, coconut, eggs, sometimes nuts and other ingredients, but the recipe varies from village to village.
Generally it was made from whatever ingredients were available at the time -- a huge hit with young and old alike.
Imqaret is a sweet treat that consists of a date filled pastry that is deep fried.
Kannoli rates at the top of the scale when it comes to sweets. It is a deep fried crispy tubular pastry casing that is filled with sweet ricotta cheese and sprinkled with chopped chocolate and nuts.
It's to die for but needs to be eaten fresh or the pastry goes soft. This truly is a special treat not to be missed!
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