Holidays are all about treating yourself, and what better treat than discovering a country’s cuisine at leisure, exploring new flavours and ingredients while basking in vacation bliss? Poised at the Southern tip of the Mediterranean, Malta offers the best in terms of foodie experiences, bringing together a delicious melting pot of European and African ingredients and dishes.
Starting with some truly incredible pastry-based snacks, whether sweet or savoury according to mood and taste. Ever heard of pastizzi? If you haven’t, this will soon change as one bite of these exquisite parcels of pastry and you’ll be hooked – guaranteed. The different fillings just make it more exciting – you can go down the traditional route with a cheese or pea filling, or jazz it up with one of the myriad concoctions available at the more avant-garde eateries.
The Maltese really love their food, so they’ve made sure to take all the best that other Mediterranean countries offer and give it their own twist. Such as the concept of meze, which has become something of an artform here, with eclectic offerings such as snail (usually served with oodles of garlic, be warned) and the ubiquitous galletta and gbejniet – a kind of dry, savoury biscuit served with cheeselets). If you’d like a fancier version, ask them to include some hobz biz-zejt, small slivers of local bread slathered in tomato paste, with lashings of olive oil, olives and juicy capers. A Maltese version of the Italian bruschetta is also popular, with many choosing to add grilled Maltese sausage or spicy salami for a more filling option.
If you’re looking for a typically Maltese main dish, then you simply need to try rabbit stew, preferably at one of the restaurants in Mgarr. This small village towards the northern side of Malta is known for its exquisite rabbit recipes that have been passed down through generations. Start out with a plateful of spaghetti al dente with rabbit sauce before moving on to the main event – and make sure you ask for extra fries, or chips as the Maltese call them!
Of course, if you’re holidaying on a Mediterranean island, checking out the fresh fish and seafood is a must. Malta boasts some exquisite restaurants ranging from the cheap and cheerful to the Michelin starred. Whichever you choose, you’re assured a lovely meal with smiling service and an extra flair – try to enjoy at least one dinner by the waterfront, dining under the stars, the water lapping at your feet, is an unparalleled experience.
If you’re a wine-lover, don’t miss out on trying out one of Malta’s award-winning vintages, and if beer is more up your street, we have that too – Cisk is the magic word! Into liqueurs? Then you must make it a point to ask for one of the artisans limoncellos or even the unique Bajtra, a sweet concoction prepared with prickly pear. Prefer to go alcohol-free? In that case, a pint of chilled Kinnie will work wonders to keep the thirst at bay – this distinctive, citrusy drink will get you hooked fast.