Maltese cuisine is a delicious mixture of the gastronomy influences left behind by the successive conquerors of the islands of Gozo and Malta, such as Sicilian and British influences, as well as Arabic. Malta’s gastronomy, thanks to its location and landscape, is mainly rustic and based on season products and sea food, while other menus are dominated by meat dishes.
It is impossible to mention every yummy morsel the island has to offer but let’s mention some appetizing specialities. You cannot not taste the famous Pastizzi, fresh, hot, cheap and incredibly tasty Pastizzi, cheese or pea cakes in English. What about the Ħobż biż-Żejt, literally meaning ‘bread with oil’, or the Maltese Platter made of Fażola (butter beans in oil and garlic), Ġbejniet tal-bżar (peppered goat’s cheese), Bigilla (a dip made of mashed beans), Maltese sausage (a traditional spiced pork sausage), sundried tomatoes, and many other yummy nibbles. Look out for Lampuki Pie (dolphin fish pie), Rabbit Stew, Braġioli (beef olives), Kapunata, (Maltese version of ratatouille), and Soppa tal-Armla (widow’s soup).
For the seafood lovers, fish is surely prominent on this wonderful island surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. When fishermen get a good catch and fish is in abundance, you’ll find Aljotta (fish soup), Spnotta (bass), dott (stone fish), cerna (grouper), dentici (dentex), sargu (white bream), trill (red mullet), swordfish and tuna. Octopus and squid are very often used to make some rich stews and pasta sauces.
To finish off a Maltese meal try some tempting dessert delicacies such as the Kannoli (tube of crispy, fried pastry filled with ricotta), Ħelwa tat-Tork, (sweet sugary mixture of crushed and whole almonds), or Imqaret (deep-fried date cakes).
Let’s not forget that even drinking in Malta can be a wonderful experience. Some Maltese wines are excellent with main wineries offering guided tours and tastings. A most popular drink for tourists is the local refreshing beer named Cisk; truly an outstanding thirst-quencher. Other also popular local drinks are Hopleaf Pale and Blue Label Ale, as well as some local liqueurs like Anisette (from the aniseed) and Bajtra (from the prickly pear). However, the favourite drink in Malta remains Kinnie, found only in Malta. You absolutely have to try this slightly bitter, fizzy drink which tastes of orange and herbs.
We promise you will love Maltese food. You just need to be open minded and willing to try new flavours, textures and tastes. So, when visiting Malta, make sure you leave behind your daily diet and dig into some of the incredibly vast good dishes that you can only eat on the Maltese islands.