10 Typical Maltese Foods with Traditional Tastes

10 Typical Maltese Foods with Traditional Tastes

Officially known as the Republic of Malta, Malta is an island nation in southern Sicily. Each year the country is visited by about 2 million visitors. Among the several reasons why people visit Malta is because of the typical Maltese food.

Whatever the event, be it happy or sad, tourists will witness large portions of dishes that are full of calories. This meal is usually accompanied by an equal amount of wine or beer.

The country’s dishes are Mediterranean-style from vegetables, fish, and olive oil to delicious pastries and pasta dishes. Here is a menu of food from Malta that you should know!

  1. Stuffat tal-Fenek

This traditional Maltese dish made from rabbit is known to locals as stuffat tal-fenek. This dish is a staple in Maltese cuisine. This dish is such an important part of culture and family life that it is considered the national dish of Malta.

This slow-cooking rabbit stew recipe is a traditional recipe that has been around since the time of the Knights of St. John.

This dish is made using ingredients found in many other Maltese dishes, including local vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, and onions, cooked together with garlic and red wine.

The meat is cooked over low heat until the meat is so tender that it falls off the bone. This stew will be present at family gatherings and holidays, sometimes it can also be served on weekdays. Another name for this dish is fenkata.

This dish is usually eaten with french fries and fresh ftira (Maltese bread). But fenkata is not just about food but also includes joyful chat and friendship. This is truly a celebration.

  1. Aljotta

Aljotta refers to a type of fish soup that is popular in Maltese cuisine. This is a dish of lemon and garlic soup that becomes especially popular during Lent when eating meat is forbidden.

The root of aljotta is bouillabaisse from France but the difference is that aljotta is topped with mint, lemon, and rice. This dish is made from whole small fish (like rockfish) with the head, tail to fins intact to get as much flavor as possible.

The fish is then combined with fried shallots, garlic, mint, tomatoes, bay leaf, and rice. After that, the dish is decorated with parsley and lemon juice.

If cooked properly, aljotta is one of the most delicious soups in Maltese cuisine. According to a writer in the Times of Malta, the quality of a new restaurant in Malta will be measured by its aljotta taste.

  1. Bigilla

Bigilla is a typical Maltese dish in the form of pasta or sauce. This dish is usually served at celebrations, parties, and special events. Some people enjoy it as an appetizer too.

This pasta is a versatile condiment and is commonly used as a spread for Maltese bread or Galetti, a traditional Maltese type of biscuit or cracker. This spread is made from mashed tic nuts, which the Maltese know as ful ta’ irba.

To help give the bean paste freshness and aromatic quality, garlic, parsley, and other spices such as mint or basil are added.

Although bigilla’s origins are unknown, it is believed to have been eaten in Malta for generations. Tourists and locals alike love this food.

  1. Bebbux bl-aljoli

Bebbux bl-aljoli is a traditional snail dish originally from Malta. A dish of cooked snail served with arjoli sauce.

The snails are cleaned first, washed, then boiled until cooked, then removed from the shell and placed on a large plate.

Arjoli sauce from ingredients in the form of breadcrumbs, garlic, tomatoes, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, pepper, and salt. The sauce was then poured over the cooked snails.

This dish is generally eaten as an appetizer accompanied by Maltese bread which has a crust and olive oil.

  1. Stuffat tal-Qarnita

In Maltese cuisine, octopus is a very common ingredient and can be served in a variety of ways. One of the most popular Maltese dishes is octopus soup or what the locals call stuffat tal-qarnita.

First of all, fresh octopus is cleaned first and then boiled in boiling water with salt. Boil the octopus for a few minutes. Once cooked, remove and immediately cut into pieces.

The octopus is then slow-cooked in a stock of garlic cloves, onions, kunserva (sweet tomato paste), diced tomatoes, olive oil, parsley, and lemon and orange zest. To improve the texture of the octopus, it is recommended that the octopus be frozen for a few days before making the stew. Generally, a hot bowl of stuffat tal-qarnita is served with delicious Maltese bread. The scent is alluring.

Additionally, the same pasta used to make octopus stew can be used to make spaghetti biz-zalza tal-qarnit, which is spaghetti with octopus sauce. This dish is another Maltese specialty that is also popular.

  1. Bragioli

In contrast to its English name, ‘beef olives’, Bagioli is a roll of beef stuffed to boil in wine. This typical Maltese dish is best served with sliced ​​Maltese bread, potatoes, and vegetables. Bagioli is served as a main dish which is delicious and rich in flavor.

The classic version of the filling for Bagioli is a hard-boiled egg, breadcrumbs, bacon, garlic, and parsley. Then the filling is wrapped in thin slices of beef. Before cooking, the meat is tied with kitchen twine. Lastly, the braġioli are cooked in a slow-cooking rich red wine sauce and garnished with carrots and onions.

Bragioli is a very satisfying traditional Maltese dish. This dish can be found on most restaurant menus throughout the island of Malta.

  1. Pastizz

No discussion of typical Maltese food would be complete without discussing pastizz, which is a savory pastry usually filled with ricotta cheese or curry peas. Patizz is Malta’s national dish and can be found everywhere, such as in pastizzi shops, bars, cafes, and restaurants.

Usually, the pastizzi is shaped like a diamond or round. This cake is made from pastry material such as phyllo which is stretched then rolled and given a layer of butter or shortening in between to get the characteristic of thin sheets.

The most common fillings are ricotta (pastizzi tal-irkotta) and curry peas (pastizzi tal-piżelli) but these pastries should not be filled with other ingredients such as corned beef, anchovies, and apples.

  1. Imqarrun il-forn

This Maltese dish is a baked pasta casserole and is usually made using penne pasta or rigatoni. Although the recipe is inherited from the Sicilian people, nowadays imqarrun il-forn has become a staple of Maltese food.

In addition to pasta, this casserole is also made with the addition of ground beef, carrots, onions, tomatoes, garlic, cheese, eggs, and flavorings such as curry powder, nutmeg, or bay leaf.

The imqarrun il-forn is baked until golden brown and should be crispy and crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. In Malta, this dish is often on a Sunday lunch menu.

  1. Platt Malti

To know the culture of a country can be done by tasting the food. This Maltese specialty contains a wealth of rich and delicious foods with beautiful colors and varied textures.

In restaurants in this country, Platt malti can be eaten at any time. Some enjoy it as an appetizer or between meals. But some eat it as a main meal because the menu contains a lot of food.

Similar to Spanish tapas or Italian antipasto, one plate of malti Platt offers a variety of food choices to try. The dining options include Maltese olives, Maltese goat cheese (ġbejniet), anchovy pasta, kapunata (similar to ratatouille, a vegetable stew) spicy Maltese sausage, sundried tomatoes, and bigilla pasta served with Galetti.

The meal ended with a glass of wine. For a deeper Maltese experience, the wine can be replaced with a glass of Kinnie (a Maltese soft drink) or with a cisk (the iconic Maltese beer). As in Italy and Spain, Platt malti is not just a food but a big part of Maltese culture.

  1. obż/Ftira biż-Żejt

As in Italian cuisine, sandwiches made from a slice of bread or open sandwiches are part of a healthy and well-loved Maltese diet. Translated into English, obż biż-Żejt means ‘bread with oil’.

This snack is very easy to make and is one of the favorites in Malta. This dish is very popular in summer. Locals will usually enjoy obża biż-żejt by the sea or during a picnic. This is because the food is quite simple but filling.

The bread used to make this dish is a traditional Maltese bread that is spread with kunserva (sweet tomato paste), then topped with tomatoes, olive oil, salt, tuna, and pepper.

Other toppings that can be added include capers, sliced ​​green olives, corn, and diced green peppers. Even though this dish is simple, it has a great taste.

This delicious open sandwich can be easily prepared in just a few minutes. This snack is a popular appetizer that you must try while in Malta.