There’s more to Maltese food and drink than just Cisk, Kinnie and pastizzi. Although, there’s no denying that these three are utterly sensational delicacies in their own right.
As a child, my parents almost never cooked Maltese food. What with my father being Italian, my mother always insisted he’d cook for us. The food was delicious, of course, but he had no idea how to make traditional Maltese food.
As a result of this, I have very vivid memories of trying Maltese food for the first time. I’ll never forget when, at the age of eight, I told my maternal grandmother I’d never had octopus stew, which she then whipped up for me in a frenzied flash and turned out to be phenomenal. So if you’ve never tried any of the food below, now’s the time to tuck in.
Ross il-Forn – Hearty and heavy, ross il-forn (baked rice) is a staple dish in many homes. There’s something absolutely divine about that initial crunch from slightly-burnt rice at the top and the gooey, saucy centre that’s bursting with flavour. Making it is relatively easy, and you’ll find various recipes online – but for a quick fix, most pastizzerias sell this too!
Image from pinterest.com
Bajtra Liqueur – With variations that include honey, prickly pear and anisette, it’s a shame that Zeppi’s Bajtra Liqueur is not as well known as Cisk and Kinnie. Trust me, though; you’ll taste Malta in every sip. Oh, and add a shot of these liqueurs to a glassful of champagne and be ready to be amazed.
Image from ostevagabondo.blogspot.com.mt
Qagħaq ta’ l-Għasel – Honey rings (made with treacle, go figure!) are not everyone’s cup of tea, granted. But then again, neither is Marmite and it’s still delicious. Speaking of cups of tea, they taste fabulous when dunked into a milky brew, too!
Image from flickr.com
Prinjolata – Almost sickly sweet, yes. However, ‘almost’ is the operative word. The bits of candied fruit, crunchy nuts, flaky but moist almond meal centre, and the fresh sweetness of the icing makes every bite a celebration. And that’s quite ideal, seeing that it’s only available during the Carnival period.
Image from flickr.com
Stuffat tal-Fenek – Rabbit stew is often frowned upon by people who think rabbits are cute, but foodies are in for a real treat here. First, kick off the meal with spaghetti tossed in the sauce the rabbit was cooked in, and then tuck into the rabbit meat with a side of hand-cut, deep fried potatoes. It’s carb-overload with potatoes, pasta, fries and of course, bread. I can assure you it’s worth every single calorie.
Image from pamiatkizkoncaswiata.blogspot.com.mt
I could really just keep writing about more delicious Maltese food, but I’ll leave it to you lovely readers to let us know what else you think should be tried!
What’s your favourite Maltese food? Let us know in the comments section below.