Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What to Eat in Malta


If you asked me what the two best things about Malta are, I would have to say (and this is just my opinion) the sea, and the food. We ate really well on our vacation and had fun sampling traditional Maltese food!  Here are the highlights:



A Pastizzi is a traditional Maltese snack. It's a puff-pastry of sorts, filled with a delicious ricotta/pea puree mixture. They are incredibly flaky and honestly just to die for. Hands down, the Pastizzi is our favorite type of food on Malta. What's AMAZING about these is that you will find "Pastizzeria's" quite literally everywhere, selling these delectable little beauties for 30 euro cents a piece. I was completely satisfied after two of them, Steven needed three to feel full. Lunch for two for One Euro Fifty? Yes please. If you're in Malta, definitely opt for this inexpensive option over lunch in touristy sit down restaurants. 


We went to dinner at a little seaside restaurant near our hotel and were really impressed by the freshly baked, still-hot-from-the-oven rolls provided us with the fluffiest, most delicious homemade eggplant dip. Definitely a winner.


When we asked the waitress what her favorite appetizer was, she instructed us to try the locally-made goat cheese that had been breaded and fried. It was like a mozzarella stick times a million, and I really enjoyed the tangy arugula salad served along side it!



Steven and I really like eating the traditional, native dishes of the countries we visit. Honestly, I think food is such an important part of travel and you learn so much through food! Is that weird? Again, we asked our waitress (whom we adored, she was so sweet) what were the most traditional maltese meals served, and she told us to try Fenek (Rabbit) I had never had rabbit before and was a little skeptical, but hey! You gotta try new things, right? I ordered traditionally cooked Fenek, made it a wine sauce. The flavor was actually really sensational, but there was something about the texture I wasn't wild about. Still, I'm glad I had the courage to try! 



Malta is only a 1.5 hour boat ride from Sicily and subsequently has huge sicilian influences. The cake we shared for desert was apparently a traditional Sicilian desert and whas phenomenal. I can not remember the name of it for the life of me...it was long and italian! Does anybody know? 


And of course we can't forget the Mediterranean style buffet we had aboard the Hera II. Seriously, the trip was worth it for the food alone! 

Other Pointers: 

Don't: 
Try Kinnie Soda. This is a soft drink that was created in Malta and they are very proud of it. There are advertisements for it everywhere you look. It was the bitterest, most disgusting soda I've ever had in my entire life! Steven was able to tolerate it (he bought it and wasn't going to waste it) but told me he would never order it again. I took one sip and that was ENOUGH for me. Actually, maybe I should move this to the "do" list, just because it's something you should at least try, just to say you did. But really...blegh!  

Do: 
Eat Pasta. Remember when I said they're VERY close to Italy? Most Maltese families eat pasta three or more times a week, and at a restaurant we were actually able to watch an old Maltese woman make Ravioli by hand. SO good. 

Eat at La Barca Restaurant in Mellieha. Great food, great service, great view of the bay, great prices. Its close proximity to our hotel meant we were able to eat there twice in one trip. 

Happy Eating! 


17 comments:

Natasha said...

You definitely have to eat local food when you travel. Food is such a big part of all our lives. We're going to Thailand next month and I can't wait to try all kinds of new things.

Nikki @ The Ginger Diaries said...

Maybe the cake was names "Cassata Alla Siciliana" ... Italian for "Cake the sicilian way" haha! :D You should try googling it, my italian recipe book really says that's the name... An it's a frosted cake, like in your photo! :) x

riana. said...

Looooks so good. :)

Kelsie Lynn said...

I wish I was a more adventurous eater. Hopefully I will be more willing to try things as I get older

Chelsea Hickman said...

You're quite adorable! And who would want to drink bitter soda? Bleck. ><

Lauren said...

I have loved reading about Malta! It looks gorgeous :) And if I convince my husband this is the place we need to visit next year, I will have this list in mind! :)

kimberly rae said...

looks delish! i have a confession to make: i'm a very very PICKY eater and it's one of the hardest things for me when i travel. i dont want to be a creep eating all the "american" foods, but i literally cannot stomach too much different ... that being said, im obsessed with goat cheese and would die for that goat cheese stick!! lol! it all does look delicious though! also, what language do they speak in malta? is that a dumb question?

No(dot dot)el said...

Hello there Daryl. I couldn't agree more about trying the foods of the country you are in. Those Maltese Pastizzi look amazing. I feel like that dessert plate should be in my life right now. And you don't have to tell this girl twice to eat pasta. Must be my Italian roots.
Happy to be your newest follower.

bhrett @ lost in relocation said...

um, yum. is the cake pistachio? it all looks so good!

xo bhrett

Anna said...

YUM!!! Looks like you had a blast! Adding it to my places to visit list :)

Jenna said...

All the food looks ah-mazing! Ready to jump on a plane now, just to gorge myself on their cheap puff pastures :)

xxx
Jenna

Laura said...

You have got me so so so curious about the taste of the Kinnie Soda! And I've only tried rabbit prepared by the French and it's honestly my favorite type of meat so I can only assume that it tasted incredible!

Sara Louise said...

Good for you for trying the rabbit! And I'm with you, I think one of the most important part of traveling, is trying out the food :)

Erika said...

I'm so glad I have found this post as my boyfriend and I are planning to move to Malta in a few months...:)

Jess said...

Found your blog through La Mia Vita! I'm an expat living in Malta and concur with your food observations. Pastizzi are the best and Kinnie is the. worst. thing. ever.

If you ever return to Malta Nanna's ravioli at Cafe Jubilee (in Valletta and Gzira) is fantastic, and so is Gululu restaurant for traditional Maltese food (in St. Julian's).

The cake is indeed Cassatta Alla Sicliana, and (to answer a question of another commenter) in Malta they speak Maltese and English.

Glad to have found your blog, looking forward to following along on your European adventures!

Jess said...

Found your blog through La Mia Vita! I'm an expat living in Malta and concur with your food observations. Pastizzi are the best and Kinnie is the. worst. thing. ever.

If you ever return to Malta Nanna's ravioli at Cafe Jubilee (in Valletta and Gzira) is fantastic, and so is Gululu restaurant for traditional Maltese food (in St. Julian's).

The cake is indeed Cassatta Alla Sicliana, and (to answer a question of another commenter) in Malta they speak Maltese and English.

Glad to have found your blog, looking forward to following along on your European adventures!

david said...

Kinnie is most definitely an Acquired Taste, as they say. The concept of a sour tasting soda is certainly something you don't come across every day. Expectations are important when you approach the Kinnie. If you are expecting something sweet, your mind will reject this bitter concoction. But accustom your brain/taste buds to the stuff, and it's not the worst thing in the world..

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