Top 10 Maltese foods you really must try whilst on holiday in Malta
- Dec 28, 2017
For the food lovers - these 10 Maltese foods are worth a try!
The Maltese food experience has been influenced by the country’s diverse history, and there are a few firm favourites that we highly recommend you try on a trip to Malta.
Or, as the locals say, Stuffat Tal-Fenek, is a Maltese favourite, often served in two courses. Left to marinade overnight, the rich tomato sauce that accompanies the stew is often served as a starter with pasta, whilst the tender rabbit that falls off the bone is served with vegetables as a main. You can enjoy rabbit stew at Café Jubilee, on St Lucia Street in Valletta.
This fish pie is a seasonal dish, said to signal the start of Autumn in Malta. The Lampuka, or dolphin fish, migrate past the island from mid-August to late November, but if you’re not visiting during this time, restaurants will make enough fresh Lampuki pies to freeze, so that it’s available all year round. Served in a puff pastry, other ingredients include spinach, tomatoes and black olives. Yum!
The mouth-watering ‘Pastizzi’ are small pastries usually filled with either ricotta or a spicy pea filling. They can be found in almost any bar or restaurant and can be enjoyed with a beer or two. The Crystal Palace shop in Rabat features in plenty of guide books, and there is a clear reason why…their pastizzi might just be the best on the island.
Malta loves cheese, and perhaps none is as popular, or as unique to the island than ‘Gbejniet’. Incredibly versatile, it can come in a number of forms, including fresh, dried and cured. Gbejniet can be served as it is, you can add pepper to it, or if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can try as part of a ricotta pie.
‘Bragioli’ is a traditional Maltese dish, and these so called ‘Beef Olives’ (spoiler alert, there are no olives in them) are certainly worth a place on this list. Bragioli are stuffed bundles of beef, beautifully slow braised, and typical accompaniments include potato and peas. Soak up the atmosphere and enjoy some Bragioli at Luciano’s Restaurant in Valletta.
Hobz biz zejt
You must try this beloved snack or appetizer, which goes perfectly with a glass of wine. Thick slices of home-made bread are covered in a tomato paste, and then topped with a variety of ingredients including garlic, black pepper, capers, olives, and of course oil.
Malta’s favourite soft-drink ‘Kinnie’ is slightly bitter, yet sweet, and its taste makes for an excellent thirst-quencher. The combination of orange flavouring & aromatic herbs makes this a rather unique drink on its own, or it can be used as a mixer with spirts like vodka too.
We’ve already listed Malta’s favourite soft-drink, now it’s time to take a look at arguably its favourite snack ‘Twistees’. These rice-based, gluten free treats were first produced in 1975, and traditional flavours include cheese, and smoky bbq. You may or may not know that Valletta has been awarded the title of European Capital of Culture for 2018, and to celebrate, Twistees will be launching some new limited-edition flavours including Caramel Cheese, and Roast Beef Cheese. You can enjoy a packet of Twistees with a beer at nearly every bar in Valletta.
Bigilla has been described as the ‘dip of all dips’, and is a wonderful side to any of the delicious breads or crackers that Malta has to offer. Traditionally made using dried broad beans, olive oil, garlic and herbs, this is a another Maltese favourite, and perfect to enjoy with some drinks. Crianza Restaurant in Valletta make their own fresh Bigilla, in case you are tempted!
Imqaret is a traditional deep-fried Maltese sweet, made with pastry and a filling of dates. The name is derived from the diamond shape of the sweets, and you’ll find them at plenty of street markets to take away. If you fancy sitting down, then Gululu in St. Julians comes highly recommended, or take a trip to the must-visit Caffe Cordina in the main street of Valletta.
Hopefully this list has got you excited to visit Malta. At Casa Ellul we’re always happy to recommend the best local restaurants and bars, after all, we have tried so many of them and know many of the families that run them having lived in Valletta all our lives, we like to think we can offer you advice for an authentic eating experience.