Situated in the south of Europe, surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, is the breathtaking island of Malta. It’s best known for its rocky landscape and emerald sea rippling in the blue lagoon. As well as snorkelling and learning the island’s heritage, you should indulge in the traditional dishes that showcase the local produce.
Here we’ve recommended some tasty delicacies that you’re guaranteed to love and wish you could take home with you.
The Maltese are obsessed with a traditionally baked bread called Ħobż Tal-Malti, which has a crunchy crust and soft, fluffy inside – just how it should be. It tastes nothing like any other white loaf you’d get at home from your local supermarket, due to its locally sourced ingredients. The inhabitants here use this bread to help ‘mop up’ their leftover stew – another popular dish you should definitely try when visiting.
If you liked the sound of Ħobż Tal-Malti then you’ll love Ħobż Biż-Żejt, another local bread this time sold as a street food rather than a restaurant meal. It’s accompanied by olive oil, tomatoes, tuna and capers and is served at lunchtime during the summer months. Another bread served for lunch is ftira, a crusty, flat, baked bread that’s usually stretched to a meal-sized portion,like a mini pizza.
A popular snack in Malta is pastizzi, a fluffy pastry moulded into a unique diamond shape and then stuffed with either ricotta cheese or mushy peas. This traditional savoury delicacy uses filo pastry, which givesit that light, fluffy texture. These snacks are sold in cafes, bars and by street vendors.
Similar to pastizzi is qassatat, a savoury nibble that uses a different type of pastry but similar fillings. They’re typically stuffed with spinach, ricotta cheese and peas, however, some may feature raisins, sautéed onions and fresh fava beans to help give the snack a bit more flavour.
Timpana is a pastry option that’s more of a dish than a snack as it incorporates pasta, although potatoes or rice can be used as an alternative. Mixed with cheese, tomatoes and other vegetables, this tasty pasta meal inside a pastry casing is a must when visiting Malta.
Marvellous Meat and Fish
Are you a big fish fan and visiting Malta between August and December? Then you should definitely try lampuka, a species of dolphin fish that’s available as a fresh catch during this time period. You can chose whether you want it fried or put into a pie called torta tal-lampuki – the more favoured way to have it served.
For the meat lovers out there, locals will encourage you to try rabbit because it’s a very common meat here. It’s often fried and accompanied by spaghetti in a tomato sauce with peas, however, if you’re trying this animal for the first time, its flavours are best tasted in a stew.
Bragioli is a popular beef dish if the rabbit doesn’t quite take your fancy. It features bacon, egg, garlic and breadcrumbs, as well as the beef itself, which should be tender and cut into thick slices. It’s usually slow-cooked in a rich, red wine sauce.
Do you have a sweet tooth? Then prinjolata, a cake made up of many sugary ingredients, is the dessert for you. It’s typically coated in a thick layer of cream, sprinkled with pine nuts and glacé cherries before being splattered with melted milk chocolate. If you’re visiting around carnival time,you’ll spot plenty of these delicacies floating around as they’re said to be the last piece of sugary goodness before lent.
Qagħaq tal-għasel, which translates to honey rings, is a sweet treat that has the same shape as a doughnut with a black treacle filling inside. This was a popular treat around Christmas time, however, it’s now eaten all year round, usually with a cup of tea.
Another dessert worth a try is figolla, a flat cake filled with marzipan and sold in bakeries during Easter. They’re cut into Easter-related shapes such as rabbits and lambs, making them an ideal seasonal snack for children.
If your mouth is starting to water and you wish to book a trip to Malta, call us on 0800 021 3237 or contact us via our website. Alternatively, you can visit our Ipswich or Woodbridge travel agents to speak to a member of our team.