5 Maltese Foods to Enjoy During a Mediterranean Vacation

malta food

If you’re headed to the Mediterranean, it’s worth stopping in Malta for a couple of days, if for nothing else than to enjoy the gorgeous scenery and traditional food. Its proximity to North Africa and Sicily do influence some of Maltese recipes, yet it still contains its individuality with its local, simple cuisine choices.

Here are a few traditional Maltese snacks and dishes to try during your stay:

Savory pastry snacks like Pastizzi

Image by Maltese-Foods from Pixabay 

Whether you want ricotta or mushy peas as the filler, Pastizzi is a yummy pastry you won’t want to miss out on during your stay in Malta. It’s also worthwhile going to a bakery to order Maltese biscuits made with coconut or almonds and available pretty much everywhere.

Rabbit stew – “stuffat tal-fenek”

Stuffat tal-fenek, as the locals call it, is considered to be the “national dish of Malta”. The rabbit is typically served as either fried or stewed. The rabbit stew takes over two hours to prepare since it is slow-cooked, allowing the meant to become very tender. Also included in the stew are a tomato-based sauce and a variety of vegetables. Fried rabbit recipes usually include garlic and white wine.

Timpana – “baked macaroni”

This can only be described as the “ultimate pasta pie”. It is made using simple ingredients – pastry and macaroni, the latter of which is cooked in a Bolognese-based sauce with cheese, tomatoes, bacon, minced meat, etc…and then baked in a pastry until it is golden brown. Since Timpana can be a heavy meal, wait until you’re good and hungry. Head to a typical pastizzeria to order it.

Gozitan Pizza

Plan on including the island of Gozo in your itinerary? Then you’ll want to try this specialty pizza, which features a unique tasting dough that distinguishes it from a traditional pizza. While the toppings on the “Ftira Ghawdxija” vary, including the type of cheese used, there is one staple ingredient that is always used: potatoes!

Fish Soup – “aljotta”

It makes perfect sense to try some seafood while visiting a Mediterranean island. One place to check out is the Marsaxlokk fish market – especially on a Sunday morning, where you’ll discover how varied the fish catch is in the waters around Malta. Head to one of the restaurants in the area to enjoy the stew, which can even contain squid or octopus (Stuffat tal-Qarnit).

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