Mini guide to Malta through its cuisine and traditional dishes

If we speak of Malta we must not only think of the golden beaches and the underwater dream but an island to discover all year round beginning from the kitchen, the result of a meeting of various traditions and people. The population of Malta is the result of a mix of people, all determined to make the tiny island their outpost in the Mediterranean. The influences of the various people have created a special culinary tradition that takes its cue from the main countries of the Mediterranean, The most famous is the so-Soppa Armla (widow’s soup) made with sheep or goat cheese that was served in the tradition of widows by neighbors as a sign of support and sharing. There are several versions, including the one which wants to add raw eggs, onions, lettuce, peas, carrots and the inevitable cheese.

Normal Lampuki

Normal Lampuki

Spicy Lampuki

Spicy Lampuki

To remember is the Lampuki, traditional pie of fish, Qarabali, stuffed zucchini and Kapunata, a local version of our local caponata. Malta is full of restaurants offering traditional cuisine but the best way to go on the hunt for local products is undoubtedly a ride to the markets. Here you can find many specialties. In fact every town and village has one. Among the stalls of the market it is easy to find local snacks such as hobz biz-zej, a large size bruschetta topped with Maltese olive oil, tomato, tuna, onions and capers, or pastizzi, puff pastry with ricotta, very often with the addition of peas. The pastizzi are good and cheap snacks which satisfy hunger. The bottege that sells every kind and quality is also open in the dead of night in places like Paceville where the nightlife of the island concentrates.

Qarabali

Qarabali

Pastizzi

Pastizzi

Among the snacks and appetizers on the Maltese table you cannot miss served Bigilla, creamy beans with garlic. Stuffed olives are also good better known as the Żebbuġ Mimli and Fritturi Tal-Qaqoċċ, the fried artichokes. The Sunday market in Valletta is one of the largest and takes place just outside the walls surrounding the city. The fish market in Marsaxlokk is without a doubt the largest folklore market located in the fishing village on the south coast of the island. Arriving at Marsaxlokk the thing that impresses at first seen are luzzi, colorful Maltese boats with “eyes” painted on the bow to be a lucky charm from the Egyptian culture. On luzzi fishermen have their caught shellfish, seafood, grouper, sea bream with mullets ready to be sold as long as you arrive at dawn.

Hobz Biz Zejt

Hobz Biz Zejt

Bigilla

Bigilla

The Maltese bread is outstanding and the local furnaces are sold in all shapes and quality. The most typical is the Ftira, a donut-shaped bread, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Pork is the most popular among the Maltese followed by the rabbit and chicken. Among the cheeses, however, they are very famous as the island of Gozo as the Ġbejn, made with goat’s milk.

Maltese Boats

Maltese Boats

Maltese cousine photos: whl.travel, La Mere Restaurant, fishgirl7, ria05, Carmelita Cookitaly, ferhanation, Suzi Banter.

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Categories: Food and Drinks

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