So you’ve arrived in beautiful sunny Malta. Perhaps you’ve spent the afternoon working on your tan at the beach or visiting one of the many historical sites on the islands, you must now be feeling the need to put something in your belly but if you just eat the first thing that comes along you may be missing out on a real treat.
Learning English in Malta
The Maltese cuisine is one of the main attractions for visitors to our archipelago, the diverse yet (mostly) healthy southern Mediterranean style coupled with a service industry on par with Europe’s most exclusive destinations makes the dining experience here a truly memorable experience.
Owing to its place in the middle of the Mediterranean the Maltese cuisine is born out of the sea the harsh, sun-beaten terrain and a long history of intermingling cultures. Closely related to Sicilian cooking, it draws also upon North African, French and more recently English. Maltese food often features pastry dishes, seasonal vegetables, a variety fish and seafood, pasta, stews as well as cold meats. Always with freshly baked Maltese bread, herbs and an especial favourite is garlic, while olive oil and sea salt are always available.
I can only list here are just a few of the most popular dishes I hope you can try as many of these as you can and perhaps discover more for yourself:
A good place to start is with the seafood; mussels, clams, cuttlefish, squid and octopus can be found in many varieties, stewed, grilled, fried in batter, marinated in white wine and garlic or with a fresh tomato and chilli pepper sauce. In summer Aljotta – a fish soup will appear on the menu and Lampuki (Dorado) become abundant, so you can’t miss the chance to have a Lampuki pie. This is the fresh fish encased in shortcrust pastry with spinach, chestnuts cauliflower and sultanas.
When you are in a rush however you won’t regret stopping at one of the many Pastizzeriji and trying one of the deliciously decadent Pastizzi the typical Maltese snack of filo pastry stuffed with ricotta cheese or the flavoursome spinach and anchovy pies.
If you are feeling rustic look for rabbit stew cooked in tomato or wine sauce, bragoli (beef olives), thinly sliced beef wrapped over a cheese, ham, herb and breadcrumb centre. If you get a whiff of our stewed snails I guarantee you won’t be afraid to try them served with a sauce of garlic, parsley and chopped herbs and toasted slices of ftira bread.
At Maltalingua English Language School, in St Julian’s, we are often asked by our students to recommend nearby places to try Maltese food. A great place to experience Maltese cuisine is Ta’ Kris (http://malta-europe.com/takris/) just five minutes away from school and for when you are visiting Valletta one of the favourite places to visit is Malata restaurant (http://www.malatamalta.com/), ideally located in the middle of our capital city. Alternatively, it can be even more authentic to book accommodation with one of our host families, where you can practise your English and experience Maltese home cooking.
This article was written by Michele Sammut, an EFL Teacher at Maltalingua.
For more information, please contact:
Maltalingua English Language School
151, Boxer House Birkirkara Hill
St Julian’s STJ 1140
+356 2742 7570