-MALTESE CUISINE –
What is the typical Maltese cuisine?
Every country has its traditional cuisine, which is one of the most distinctive features of its culture. There is a lot to discover on the Maltese menu, and a visit to a Maltese restaurant is certainly a must. However, if you are short on time and can only try a few dishes, here are the traditional Maltese dishes we recommend.
What is traditional Maltese food?
Traditional Maltese food –
Another very typical snack is ftira biż-ejt. This traditional Maltese dish consists of a portion of Maltese bread with tomato paste and olive oil, stuffed with various ingredients such as tuna, cheese, capers, olives, pickled vegetables, lettuce and more. This is usually eaten as a lunch or take-out snack and is available in most grocery stores and bars.
Pastizzi, traditionally baked goods stuffed with ricotta or peas, are probably the most famous Maltese snack. Over the years they have evolved into different variants, and filling with spinach or chicken has become popular. Qassatat is another version of pastizzi, usually larger and using shortcrust pastry instead of puff pastry. Many pastizzi shops-which are usually plain hole-in-the-wall shops-offer a fairly large selection of dishes, including baked rice, baked pasta, an assortment of sandwiches and pastries, as well as sweets! All for less than 2 euros apiece and sinfully delicious. Recently, pastizzi has become somewhat of a cultural symbol in Malta. The preparation of pastizzi has a very interesting history and is deeply rooted in Maltese tradition.
This is undoubtedly one of the most famous traditional Maltese dishes. There are even places that specialize only in taking „fenek,” which is the term used when locals go out to eat rabbit. Mġarr and Baħrija are well known for such restaurants; don’t expect anything fancy! For an appetizer, one usually orders „bebbux bl-aljoli” (snails in garlic sauce), followed by an appetizer of spaghetti with rabbit sauce. The rabbit itself is usually served fried in garlic or as a stew, sipped with good local wine.
Another favorite among traditional Maltese dishes is octopus, which is usually served fried in garlic or as a stew, but spaghetti with octopus sauce is also popular. The best place to eat octopus is at a fish restaurant, serving fresh fish. Marsaxlokk – Malta’s most famous fishing village and fish market – is probably the best choice
Lampuki (Dorado fish)
Available only in September, when the Mediterranean Sea around Malta is warm and calm, lampuki is Malta’s national fish, and locals eagerly await the season when they can taste its delicious white, flaky flesh. The fish is usually fried and served whole or in pieces – watch out for the bones! The traditional sauce for lampuki consists of fresh tomatoes, olives, capers, olive oil, salt and pepper. This is a traditional Maltese dish that you absolutely must try if you came here in season.
Baked potatoes (Patata l-forn)
It is the Maltese equivalent of the English roast Sunday. The preparation of this dish is simple: a layer of onions, a layer of thickly sliced potatoes, a layer of pork steaks, another layer of potatoes, add water, spices and put in the oven. The resulting dish is delicious, feeling the mixture of soft and crispy potatoes. Potatoes can also be prepared on their own, without meat as a side dish to another dish.