Malta is one of the most unique place you can visit in the world. The tiny island nation is located in the Mediterranean Sea and it considered to be part of Southern Europe. The EU nation is just 50 miles south of Sicily, 176 east of Tunisia, and 207 miles from Libya. Since this archipelago has been ruled by the likes of the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Aragonese, Knights of St. John, French, British, and many more, the country is a melting pot of cultures and languages. This is especially felt in Maltese cuisine, which is rich in variety. Here are some of the dishes you can’t miss while you’re visiting Malta.
Pastizzi are a popular street food that consist of phyllo dough and are usually filled with mushy peas or ricotta. These budget friendly snacks can be found in pastizzerias throughout Malta, where you can also find square pizza, pies, sausage rolls, and more. Pastizzi are one of the most popular savory snacks you can have here.
Bigilla is a bean paste dip that is often served at parties or celebrations, but it is also served as an appetizer. It can be spread of Maltese bread or on traditional Maltese water crackers, called galletti. The dip is made of mashed tic beans, which are called ful ta’ Ġirba by natives. In addition to the beans, garlic, parsley, and other types of herbs are added for flavor.
Torta tal Lampuki
Lampuki pie is one of the most beloved traditional foods in Malta. It is a savory pie made with Lampuki, or dorado (mahi-mahi) fish. These fish have been migrating through the Mediterranean sea each year for centuries, so this dish dates back for many generations. In addition to lampuki, the filling is made with carrots, cauliflower, olives, capers, olives, garlic, cloves, and tomato puree. The buttery crust soaks in the delicious flavors, creating a uniquely delicious savory pie.
Being an island nation, it’s no surprise that so many of Malta’s dishes consist of seafood. Aljotta is Maltese fish soup that was traditionally served during Lent, since meat was not allowed to be eaten during this time. It can be served as an appetizer or a main dish. Usually, the soup is made with rockfish along with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and herbs. The soup is usually served with rice.
Imqaret are traditional date cakes that are made of a pastry filled with date spread and then deep fried. They can be easily found at street markets and vendors all around Malta, especially capital city Valletta. These can be traced back to the days when the Arab Empire controlled Malta, and they are quite similar to Tunisian pastries called macrood.