‘The Mediterranean island of Malta is one of the smallest countries in Europe. Despite its size, it packs a punch when it comes to its unique cuisine. Filled with sweet treats and hearty stews, these are 10 amazing foods to experience in Malta…’
Lampuki is a traditional Maltese dish, prepared with Lampuka fish. Lampuka is the Maltese word for mahi-mahi, and the pie is made with a combination of the fish, veggies (often cauliflower and carrots), encased in flaky pastry. The pie often includes soaked raisins, lemon peel or mint.
This rabbit stew is considered Malta’s national dish and no visit to the island should be complete without trying it out. The stew dates back centuries and is traditionally cooked with a combination of rabbit, tomatoes, carrots and potatoes. It’s also made using a huge amount of red wine, so it’s clearly a dish I can get on board with.
Timpana is a pasta pie, baked with layers of beef, penne or macaroni, tomato sauce and cheese. It’s often called Maltese Lasagne, but it’s way more than that. There are a ton of variations on the recipes, with some including chicken livers, pork and veggies. Regardless of the additional ingredients, every one we tried was amazing. Timpana is the ultimate Maltese comfort food.
The pastizz is a savoury filo pastry snack that comes in two traditional variations. One is filled with melted ricotta cheese and the other with spicy mushy peas. I realise the latter doesn’t sound that great on paper, but it really is. You can buy pastizz in most eateries, cafes and food carts. They’re best eaten warm from the oven.
The ftira is a popular Maltese sandwich/bagel. It’s usually filled with tuna, olives, capers or anchovies and salad layered on a base of tomato paste. It’s a great bite to have for lunch as it’s not too heavy, and you can find it pretty much anywhere across the islands.
This kinda reminds me of a Scotch egg. Not the shitty ones you get in motorway service stations, but the homemade kind. The Bragioli is a beef olive, braised in red wine and with hard boiled eggs inside. It’s often made with minced veal inside and cuts of beef outside. the addition of eggs makes this a great switch up from an everyday beef olive.
This crunchy Maltese bread was my favourite thing about eating in Malta. Strangely, it doesn’t taste like any bread I’ve ever tried before and is definitely nothing like the baguettes or speciality loaves you can buy in the supermarket. It has to be eaten fairly quickly as it’s not full of preservatives and, therefore, goes stale very quickly.
It’s often eaten for breakfast and lunch and is bet smeared with tomato paste and drizzled with olive oil. I could have eaten it at every meal.
Also known as ‘Widow’s soup’ because the ingredients are so cheap that even widows can afford to make it. Its main components are carrots, cauliflower, garlic, potatoes and peas. The small Maltese cheese ġbejniet is also used. This is a small sheep’s milk cheese with rennet and salt. I prefer mine to include Zalzett Malti (Maltese Sausage), but this is something I do at home.
Malta is well known for its sweet tooth and you can find dozens of unique treats all over the islands. The biskutti is made with almonds and is often eaten alongside a cup of tea of coffee. They’re really popular around Christmas and for Christenings, but you can find them in most bakeries these days. My husband was especially fond of them. He loves a biscuit or 10.
If you like sweet things and have no objection to mess, this cake might tickle your taste buds. Prinjolota is often eaten around carnival time, but it’s not difficult to get your hands on at any time of the year. The dessert is made from sponge with pine nuts, almonds and glace cherries, smothered in icing and drizzled with chocolate. It’s a crazy looking mound of cake but it’s absolutely delicious.