The Maltese cuisine
Since everything on Malta is related to the Mediterranean style, the obvious thing is that it will be the same for the food. The Maltese cuisine has a lot of outside influence, especial from Sicily, and there are many recipes that you can enjoy and never have enough.
The climate on the island is very important for the cuisine. In the spring, the rainy days, help for the growth of the vegetables, and during this period cabbages, cauliflowers, potatoes and onions are grown, which are also important for the export. During the summer, because of the hot weather and less rain, different crops are flourishing. There are tomatoes, aubergines, grapes and melon. People here like to use fresh plants, as probably in many other places. In this post I will share what are the main ingredients of the Maltese cuisine.
The tradition is that every morning there is a fresh Maltese bread baked at the bakeries, they often eat it with olive oil, tomato paste, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and there are olives and capers on the side (hobz biz zejt). In many restaurants this simple dish is served as pre-appetizer in combination with a fish soup (aljotta) with its delicate lemony taste.
The cheese (gbejnet) over here is mainly produced from a sheep’s milk, mixed with salt and also dried. This kind of cheese is usually covered with herbs or pepper, or sealed in olive oil. It has a strong salty taste, and I really like it. Not everyone can eat it though, some find it way to strong.
Obviously that the sea food will be very dominant in the Maltese cuisine. Different kinds of fishes, octopuses, squid, and prawns can be served very fresh on your plates. Coming directly from the sea, they can be found in a lot of recipes. Fishes are mostly steamed or fried, and they come in many different recipes and ways of cooking.
Maltese people are a meat eaters. They like sausages flavored with herbs and garlic. Malta’s national meat is the rabbit which is prepared in many ways, like slow cooked in wine and garlic, or fried in oil. The most popular cooking method is rabbit stew, served with spaghetti, as first course, and the rabbit as a main course with a lot of wine. In the autumn the snails get on their popularity. Many restaurants offer them as an appetizers, cooked with olive oil and a lot of garlic. Still haven’t tried both of the things.
The biggest influence, regarding the pasta, comes from Sicily, the closest neighbors. The most popular are the ravioli, stuffed with ricotta cheese. Than, there are other kinds of pasta prepared in different ways. Maltese people really like beef Bragjoli, a beef fillets stuffed with mincemeat, an onion and a mixture of herbs, along with a tomato sauce.
Sweet and Desserts
The sweet and desserts are often served as finger food. You can try a pastry with dates, called Imqaret, the Turkish specialty Halva, or a Sicilian Kannoli, a tasty very sweet pastry filled with sweet ricotta cheese, being among the most popular pastries. Than Baci Cace, Mandrola, Rumbaba, Red Valvet an much more.
The coffee here is served in the Italian style, mainly espresso and cappuccino, and they do have very nice coffees. On the healthier side there are the popular smoothies, made from fruits and nothing more. The most popular Maltese drink, would probably be Kinnie, a sparkling citrus drink, a tip is to drink it with ice. The most popular beer is Chisk, which is produced locally, and there are some wines, and the popular Maltese liker.
Maltese people eat spicy things, a lot of pasta and meat, and they do eat a lot. You can find some very interesting and tasty specialties in some of the finest Maltese restaurants. Enjoy all the Mediterranean style and for more from Malta, read The Bohemian Style.