Tasting the World through Maltese Cuisine
They say that one of the best ways to experience a different culture is through their cuisine. Not only do you get a fantastic meal, but you learn about the cooking techniques, ingredients, and flavors that make that culture one-of-a-kind. Maltese cuisine is a fantastic example of diverse yet unique food. Now you might not be too familiar with Malta and its cuisine, but what about Mediterranean food? Does it ring a bell? That’s what Maltese cuisine is about. You’ve probably tried different varieties of Mediterranean food, such as Greek, French, and Spanish. Although they fall under the same category, rest assured that Maltese food is just as exceptional as the others.
Malta is a small island located towards the south of Europe located right below Italy. Malta may not be as big as its Mediterranean counterparts, but don’t let its size fool you. It is home to gorgeous displays of natural heritage, such as its sunny beaches and crystal blue water. Malta’s cultural heritage can be found in its historic architecture and art. All of this, combined with the boundless activities the island offers, makes Malta a wonderful and breathtaking place to visit. So, what better way to taste Maltese cuisine up close and personal?
One of Malta’s signature dishes is called ‘pastizzi’, which is also known as a Maltese cheesecake. These are flaky, diamond-shaped pastries filled with ricotta cheese, or sometimes a pea mixture. Pastizzi are perfect for afternoon snacks with a cup of your favorite tea or coffee. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes around Malta whipping up their own scrumptious versions of pastizzi.
Another traditional dish in Maltese cuisine is rabbit stew, or ‘stuffat tal-fenek’ in Maltese. At first, rabbit may not seem like something you’d want to eat, but it’s only a matter of cultural diversity. Rabbit is a staple in Maltese cooking, just like chicken is in American cooking. Instead, think of it this way; it’s something exotic and new for you to try. Traditional rabbit stew makes good use of the rabbit’s liver and kidneys for additional flavor. Some of the crucial ingredients include:
- Red wine
- Bay leaves
- Tomato paste
- Garlic, and more
‘Hobz biz-zeit’ is Maltese for ‘bread with oil’. It might not sound exciting at first, but there so much more to hobz biz-zeit than its simple translation. It’s a tasty yet filling treat for those lazy afternoons on one of Malta’s prized beaches, enjoying the company of friends and family. Hobz biz-zeit is made with thick slices of dense bread, spread with ‘kunserva’, a sweet tomato paste. It’s then topped with olives, capers, garlic, black pepper, olive oil, and if you like, pieces of anchovies or tuna.
Sure, you could opt for a local restaurant that offers Maltese cuisine. But what is Maltese cuisine without the proper Maltese experience? This way, you won’t only be discovering the diversity of food, but a whole new culture altogether; new sights, sounds, places, and things to do. Plus, by visiting Malta, you’ll taste Maltese cuisine that way it’s made straight from home.