1. Ħobż biż-Żejt, 2. Pastizzi, 3. Stuffat tal-Fenek, 4. Bigilla, 5. Torta tal-Lampuki, 6. Stuffat tal-Qarnita, 7. Soppa tal-Armla, 8. Aljotta, 9. Imqaret, 10. Ftira Għawdxija, 11. Pudina tal-Ħobż, 12. Figolli. The food in Malta is a cultural mash-up of Sicilian, British, Spanish, and even French cuisine, and it will leave you wanting more. In a blend of Mediterranean elements, rich rabbit stews are served alongside mellow goat's cheese, enticing soft sourdough bread, and honeyed pastries. Choose from our list of just the most delectable Maltese foods that every tourist must experience.
- Ħobż biż-Żejt
- Stuffat tal-Fenek
- Torta tal-Lampuki
- Stuffat tal-Qarnita
- Soppa tal-Armla
- Ftira Għawdxija
- Pudina tal-Ħobż
Hobz biz zejt (which translates to “bread with oil”) is a basic Maltese gastronomic tradition. What makes the beautiful Maltese bread (known as hobz tal Malti) so remarkable and unique is its simplicity and intricacy at the same time.
It’s quite difficult to replicate Maltese bread, particularly the enormous circular crusty loafed bread known simply as hobz. It’s a sourdough, like ftira (another popular Maltese bread), but its thick crust and soft center full of air holes have never been replicated outside of Malta. Hobz have a particular flavor and appearance that you won’t find in other cakes.
To begin, a portion of dough (or starter) from the previous day’s baking is used to make the bread. It’s referred to as it-tinsila. Some bakeries have been carrying this dough from day to day for many years, and I’ve heard some starters are at least 100 years old. The bread will have a distinct flavor as a result of this. Bread will have a particular flavour due to factors such as the wheat and water used, as well as changes in air pressure. Another reason for the bread’s uniqueness is that the ovens are extremely ancient huge wood-burning, stone-and-metal ovens that are difficult to duplicate. Finally, the bread is baked at 275°C in these ovens, then removed and allowed to cool.
A pastizz is a classic Maltese savory pastry. Pastizzi are typically filled with ricotta or curried peas (pastizzi tal-irkotta, cheese cake) or both (pastizzi tal-pielli, pea cake). Pastizzi are a well-known and popular traditional Maltese dish. It should not be confused with U’ pastizz ‘rtunnar, which is an Italian pastizz.
Pastizzi are created using a dough similar to Greek filo pastry and are generally diamond or circular in form (known as pastizzi tax-xema’ in Maltese) (although there is also a puff pastry version). As a form of identification, the pastry is folded in different ways depending on the filling. Cheese cakes (filled with ricotta) are traditionally folded along the center, whereas pea cakes are folded down the side. In a pastizzerija, which is usually a small or family business, they are baked on metal trays in electric or gas ovens. They’re also offered by street sellers and in pubs and cafés. In the outlying communities, they’re a popular breakfast option.
While visiting Malta, it is hard not to come across a pastizzeria. This is due not just to the enormous lines of people waiting to buy it along the sidewalks, but also to the heavenly perfume wafting from pastizzi businesses. Pastizzi may be found in nearly all taverns, cafeterias, and supermarkets. They are a popular savory snack in Malta. When you visit the Maltese islands, you must try them!
Source: AT Express
Source: Marvin Gauci
This is a traditional Maltese stew of rabbit meat. This dish is cooked for a long time (hours) so that the meat can separate from the bones and become entwined in a rich sauce made of tomatoes, red wine and onions.
The star of the dish, as the name implies, is rabbit. Slow-cooked rabbit slices are combined with red wine, garlic, onions, carrots, potatoes, and tomato purée in a saucepan. To improve and refresh the flavor, traditional Maltese herbs are added to the soup. As a main entrée, a slow-cooked rabbit stew is served with potatoes and veggies. However, the flavor does not end there. To make a superb pasta appetizer, Maltese cooks combine the same rich tomato sauce used in the stew with spaghetti.
Because this is a social dinner, most Maltese cook a huge stew with two or three rabbits. Given the finicky joints of rabbit, you’ll need that many to provide a reasonable quantity each person. When you order a rabbit from the butcher, it comes complete with head (eyes) and everything. The liver, and occasionally the kidneys as well, are pulled out of the stew and served over spaghetti and generous ladles of the thickened sauce as a first dish. The primary dish is the stew, which is typically served with roast potatoes sprinkled with fennel seeds and crusty Maltese bread.
Source: Dilettanti tal-Agrikoltura Siġar u Pjanti
If you’ve ever visited Malta or are familiar with Maltese food, you’ve undoubtedly heard of this legendary duet. These two are usually a hit at every Maltese gathering! Bigilla may be a love-hate relationship, with some preferring it thicker and others preferring it thinner, as well as the amount of spiceiness. Galletti, on the other hand, are usually a hit with the audience.
Galletti, whether Maltese or not, can be found next to dips or on a plate. Also, these tiny water crackers make a fantastic snack! These galletti are now available in a variety of flavors, including sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper, rosemary, and even benjiet tal-bar, a typical Maltese cheese (peppered cheeslets). They’re all fantastic. However, slathering butter on the basic ones is one of my favorite ways to consume them.
Bigilla is a mildly spicy Maltese dip prepared with mashed dry broad beans (ful ta’ irba), olive oil, salt, and chili flakes. It tastes a lot like ful Medames, which is a traditional Middle Eastern dish. Because the Maltese islands were ruled by the Arabs for numerous centuries, bigilla is likely to have the same root as ful Medames. This dip can be served chilled or at room temperature. It’s a terrific spread for warm toast and makes a nice accent to a cheese and cold cuts buffet. Another way you enjoy eating it is as a pasta sauce, which you make by diluting it somewhat with pasta water.
Source: Apron & Whisk
Source: CHEFOGRAPHY ME
This is another another Maltese dish that is highly famous among the locals. It’s known as ‘torta tal-lampuki’ in the area, and it’s created from a type of sea beam fish called Lampuki, which has different colors when fresh. Between August and November, this variety of fish is at its peak. The ‘lampuki’ is sold in the streets of Malta by small sellers or trucks. Dough and cauliflower or spinach are also used in the meal.
This sort of food may be prepared in a variety of ways, including shallow frying and baking in the oven. Because this is a traditional Maltese meal, the recipe for traditional torta tal-lampuki is passed down from generation to generation, and it may differ from one family to the next. There are, however, easily available recipes that show how to make a great Lampuki dinner. This meal is sold at a variety of places, and it is usually served as a pie.
Source: 196 Flavors
Source: Maltese Cuisine
Octopus is a popular dish in Maltese cuisine, and it can be prepared in a variety of ways. Octopus stew, or Stuffat tal-Qarnita as it is called among locals, is one of Malta’s most popular meals. First, the fresh octopus is washed and cooked for several minutes in seething, salted water. It’s removed and sliced into pieces once it’s cooked. The octopus is then cooked gently in a broth made with onions, garlic cloves, kunserva (sweet tomato paste), olive oil, chopped tomatoes, parsley, and lemon and orange zest.
Widows soup, a Maltese favorite, is another one of those foods for which every family has its unique recipe. The use of cauliflower and little Maltese goat cheeses known as bejna, which are dropped into the soup whole in the last five minutes of cooking, appears to be something they all agree on. Each diner receives their own full cheese, which functions as a molten flavor bomb in the center of your soup.
Widow’s soup can now be prepared in a variety of ways. The major components, however, are fresh Maltese vegetables like peas and broad beans. The widow’s soup is a classic Maltese soup that is simple but excellent. It became particularly popular throughout Malta’s most trying periods in history, such as during both World Wars, due to its low-cost components. Unfortunately, despite its healthy flavor, it is not as popular with the newer Maltese generations.
Source: The Taste Trail
Aljotta is a traditional Maltese soup that is particularly popular during Lent, when meat consumption is restricted. This soup’s main component is fish, including the head and tail, and it’s commonly made using little fish like rockfish. The fish is cooked with fried onions, garlic, water, tomatoes, and herbs like mint and bay leaves. After that, the soup is drained and rice is added until it is entirely cooked. All that’s left to do now is add some parsley and a squeeze of lemon to the soup, and aljotta is ready to eat.
Aljotta is a dish that may be served as an appetizer or a main entrée. Chefs and home cooks in Malta prepare it in huge portions to feed large families or for social occasions. It’s a simple yet tasty dish that’s still the most popular fish soup among Maltese people. Rockfish is traditionally utilized in the most popular dishes. The whole rockfish is cooked in its own fluids to enhance the taste. The head and tail of the fish add a deeper, more delicious flavor to the soup.
Imqaret is one of the old Arab world relics that has survived in Malta. This delectable dish of date-filled pastries is cut into delicate rectangular forms. The dish’s name is derived from the Arabic word maqrut, which means diamond. If you’ve been lucky enough to try this recipe in Malta, you’ll know that it’s nearly ubiquitous in restaurants, cafés, and even Maltese kitchens. Every Maltese festa must have street booths selling imqaret. These treats, combined with a lovely cup of tea, are especially appealing during the Christmas season.
Imqaret is a Maltese confection. Flour, sugar, butter, water, dates, and cinnamon are used to make this pastry. The dough is deep-fried and served with vanilla ice cream. During the holidays, these treats are made and presented for supper. Imqaret is for individuals who enjoy fried desserts and are curious about the flavor of dates. This dish is available in most restaurants and pastry shops in Malta. These delights may be fried and eaten while they are still hot. You may also lower the calories by baking them in the oven. These treats are a filling and energizing snack that will keep you satisfied for several hours. These sweets may be purchased on several of Malta’s streets.
Source: Air Malta
Source: The Healthy Malteser
Ftira is a classic Maltese/Mediterranean flatbread that is mostly renowned in Gozo (one of the Republic of Malta’s major islands) and topped with specific Maltese/Mediterranean toppings. It’s also known as Gozitan Ftira or Ftira Ghawdxija in the area. Sliced tomatoes, ancho vies and/or tuna, capers, olives, and potatoes are the most frequent ftira toppings. The customary and traditional toppings of Gozo, on the other hand, are made with their distinctive goat’s cheese (gbejneit).
Because it is produced with a distinct sort of dough, this scrumptious Gozitan pizza has a little different flavor than a regular pizza. The dough is thicker, and the toppings aren’t the same as on a traditional Italian pizza. Ricotta, goat cheese, and potatoes are commonly used as toppings in Gozitan pizzas instead of meat. The impact of Italian cuisine on Maltese cuisine is exemplified by Gotizan pizza. It’s a delicious dish made with a lot of love.
Source: Pappa Recipes
This straightforward yet delectable Maltese treat combines soaked bread with eggs, chocolate, almonds, and dried fruit. Before being cooked until hard, the mixture is generally seasoned with orange zest and different spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg. Pudina is said to be a version of the typical British bread pudding because Malta was formerly a British colony. The dessert is normally served sliced and coupled with coffee, and it can be eaten warm or cold.
Pudina tal-ob is a family recipe that has been passed down through the years. Because so many individuals prepare it in so many various ways, it’s impossible to locate a standardized recipe. Sugar, margarine, drinking chocolate powder, and cocoa powder are common ingredients in bread pudding. Grated lemon and orange zest, sultanas, currants, and a few more spices all contribute to the rich, hearty pudding’s zing.
Source: Maltese Cuisine
A figolla is a sweet dessert created with an almond filling and encased in a pastry shell. The form usually resembles an Easter-themed emblem, such as a bunny, a lamb, or a heart shape. After that, the pastry is iced or covered in chocolate. On the figolla, a little Easter egg is usually put. On Easter Day, it’s the perfect delicious treat to enjoy with family and friends.
Figolli are famous for their delicious intrita filling, which is essentially almond paste. It’s sweet and scrumptious. The Maltese prefer to coat their figolli in icing sugar or melted chocolate, and half of a chocolate Easter egg is sometimes placed on top. When visiting Malta during the Easter season, the figolli are a must-try! They are a very distinctive Maltese delicacy.
Source: The Duke Gozo