Why are they so big?
It’s totally normal to eat like 300g of pasta in one sitting, no? I’ve lived in Malta long enough to stop thinking about portion sizes – until a friend recently visited me from the UK. He was somewhat scandalised – despite normally stating that he ‘eats a lot’.
So, obviously, I had to sit him down and explain how we do things here in Malta:
Starters: Whether it’s a platter or a soup, chances are our ‘starter’ portions are equivalent to the main dish elsewhere. With our starters, we don’t just look to spark one’s appetite, but get them full as they wait for the main course. Because that’s how we roll in Malta, and we can’t have anyone say that they didn’t have enough to eat when we hosted them.
Desserts: Hey, it ain’t a meal unless it’s a three-course meal, and our desserts are heavy AF. We like almonds a lot… And cream. Our version of the trifle is richer than Bill Gates, and you have to eat all of it or else we’ll get offended.
Pasta: 100g? Ma che! – we have, like, 300 g and it’s served with super-rich sauces. Most of our pasta recipes are inspired by Sicilian cuisine, but we added our own flair, of course. Take timpana, for example, it’s carbs and protein (pretty much a Bolognese) encased in even more carbs. And you’ll get a huge slab of that, by the way.
Teatime: Tea is normally served strong, with sugar, milk and loads of goodies. What you get depends largely on the time of the year but be reminded that it’ll be more akin to an Englishman’s idea of ‘supper’ than ‘tea’. And that’s fine, because we like everything bigger and better.
Stews: Yes, we’re not the inventors of the stew, but we’ve pretty much perfected it. In fact, don’t be surprised if you’re served rabbit stew with a side of spaghetti, or if the calamari in your stew are more stuffed than you will be after eating it.
Needless to say, he was a bit taken aback by the sweet burden of this knowledge. But he learnt quickly.
Do you struggle with Maltese portions?
Or do you have another idea as to why we eat that way?
Let us know in the comments section below.