Malta – a little island with a big heart nestled in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by bright blue, crystal clear water. It was a place we called home for a couple of years and whilst we were there we fell in love with the food (and drink).
We’re hoping to get back there for a short visit this year so we can visit family and friends. But we also can’t wait to eat our way around the island again!
Here are 7 foods that we miss, in no particular order.
Let’s start with something healthy as our list gets more high calorie from now on. Okay so you can get strawberries from anywhere, and at any time. But believe us, nothing compares to fresh Maltese strawberries! They are genuinely the BEST strawberries we have ever tasted. In the height of strawberry season in Malta, roadside grocery carts are bursting with punnets of these huge, delicious berries. And we mean HUGE. There’s even an annual strawberry festival to celebrate this little red fruit – watch the video below.
Pastizzi (Savoury Cakes)
Forget Greggs pasties and sausage rolls, Pastizzi are THE number one savoury snack to try in Malta. Sold from little ‘hole in the wall’ bakeries and cafes, they’re a great hot snack to fill a gap. The outer casing of flaky pastry covers two choices of fillings; ricotta cheese or pizelli (curried peas). How many calories in each? About a bazillion. But don’t let that put you off from trying these delicious pastry treats. Our favourite is pizelli – give them a try!
No, not the ones from a supermarket fresh / frozen section. We mean the fresh, stone baked pizza with yummy fresh toppings available from a multitude of pizzerias across the island. Our favourite takeaway was an outlet called Pizze’ in Mosta. Plus, we LOVED eating out at Piccolo Padre in Sliema.
Okay, so they’re not a well known Maltese specialty. But, when we first moved to Malta we lived just down the road from a bakery. That’s when we noticed CHOCOLATE DONUTS! Just a standard donut, but filled with Nutella chocolate spread. Yummy!
Ħobż biż-Żejt (Bread with oil)
Pronounced hobbs-biz-eight, this is another Maltese speciality. It features slices of Maltese bread, drizzled with oil, tomato paste, garlic, black pepper and capers / olives if that’s what you like. Our favourite little drinking hole (City Bar in Mosta) would normally serve little pieces of Ħobż biż-Żejt along with our favourite Maltese lager. Can’t wait to get another fix of this savoury treat.
Ftira (Maltese Bread)
Ftira is a ring-shaped Maltese bread that makes awesome sandwiches, filled with all sorts of deliciousness. Traditional fillings include a drizzle of oil, fresh tomatoes, salt and pepper, tuna, onion, garlic…and lots of other things if you wish!
Another sweet delight that we fell in love with is Almond Biscuits. Made with ground almonds, almond essence and real almonds, its a nutty sweet treat. There’s even a recipe for them on the BBC Good Food website. They’re lovely with a fresh cup of coffee.
Cisk (Maltese Lager)
Okay so it’s not a food, it’s number 8 on our list of 7 so we’re cheating here. But we’re giving a big shout out to Cisk (pronounced chisk) which is one of Malta’s locally brewed lagers. It’s bright yellow can contains a light, refreshing lager which is ideal for the long hot summers. A special mention also goes to Cisk Chill which also has a zesty lemon tang. Hmmmm ice cold Maltese beer, long sunny days, hanging out at the beach…bring it on!