I-ikla t-tajba (bon appétit)

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Discovering the culinary tastes of Malta

Malta reveals a unique cuisine – setting the destination apart with an exceptional culinary identity and offering.

Malta’s Mediterranean cuisine is varied, fresh and healthy, with a plethora of juicy vegetables and delectable seafood. One can easily identify the southern influence of the food variety that one experiences in the Mediterranean basin.

The sun-drenched islands are blessed with fresh seafood and freshly caught fish, including gold mackerel, swordfish, mullet, perch and tuna. A popular specialty is “Aljotta”, a tasty fish soup with lots of garlic, tomatoes and rice seasoned with freshly-picked marjoram.

Especially freshly harvested vegetables can be found on the menus – whether as side dishes, in casseroles or as their own typical home-made dish – including sun-ripened tomatoes, zucchini, beans, artichokes as well as cabbage and cauliflower and potatoes. Wild caper bushes grow on ancient walls, besides an abundance of olive groves and a variety of aromatic herbs and fresh garlic.  Olives, olive oil and bread are indispensable in the Maltese cuisine. Seasoned with sea salt, which is traditionally harvested in 160-year-old salt pans on the island of Gozo, a tradition that keeps on passing onto various generations.

There is also a wide range of Maltese pastries that are available in the Pastizzerija (pastry shops). Popular eaten as a snack in between meals. These are puff pastry rolls, the “Pastizzi”, hearty filled with lightly salted ricotta cheese or pea paste.

After dinner “Helwa Tat-Tork” is often served as a dessert, a paste of amalgamated crushed sesame seeds, sugar and almonds.

“I-ikla t-tajba” – Bon appetit as the locals say.

Malta is also known for its diverse Mediterranean cuisine. The relationship of the islanders towards the different people, that have occupied the archipelago over the centuries, is reflected in the Maltese cuisine.

Venues to visit

Heritage MaltaMalta Maritime Museum – Birgu

The Malta Maritime Museum has embarked on a new journey of discovery: the history of food of the island. Through historical research and modern farming methods, visitors get an opportunity to taste history, which coincidentally is the namesake of this new project. There are a number of dishes and beverages on offer and many have a story to tell. Even the humblest of Coffee sorbet can shed light on the unique history of Malta’s kitchen. It will come as a surprise that even before refrigeration Malta enjoyed sorbets. Ice blocks were imported daily from Mount Etna in Sicily to prepare various sherbets. One popular sorbet prepared by the chefs at taste history is Coffee Sorbet. The recipe is originally from 1746 and it provides us with an insight to the far-reaching arm of the Maltese kitchen. Arabesque coffee from Ethiopia; captured by Maltese Corsairs, Vanilla emanating from Madagascar, cinnamon from the Spice Islands and Ice from neighbouring Sicily; all ingredients were mixed together to produce a drink that brought most of the known world into one glass in tiny Malta. It is through such recipes that the Malta Maritime Museum bring Malta’s food culture back to life through the palate of a by gone era. 

Malta Maritime Museum – Birgu

www.tastehistory.org

dinners@heritagemalta.org

Telephone: +356 79706554

Experience the culinary of Malta during a tasting.

Hall 1.2 / Stand 220

MCAThe Mediterranean Culinary Academy – Valletta

The Mediterranean Culinary Academy offers hands-on cooking classes in the heart of Valletta. Emphasis is given to using locally sourced produce and all our workshops follow the same format. A brief introduction of the dish that will be prepared on the day, a number of demonstrations by our professional chef instructors and finally a chance to try your hand at recreating the dish. Each session ends with a bottle of wine while you sit and enjoy the fruits of your labour. All our workshops are derived from the Mediterranean region and how these have developed over time and their relationship with the Maltese islands, from fresh pasta dishes from Italy to traditional rabbit dishes we cover a range of recipes, techniques and Cuisines

What exactly do people experience/taste there?

Being a hands-on cooking class each participant has a chance to get stuck in to the preparation and cooking of the particular recipe. We offer a range of workshops and recipes always using locally sourced ingredients.

What makes it a typical Maltese experience?

Using local ingredients adds a twist to a number of these recipes. We ensure that each participant gains a better understanding of the local cuisine and indeed of the history of our island through food.

The Mediterranean Culinary Academy

5, Sappers Street, Valletta

Telephone: +3599704909

More information: www.mcamalta.com

Offbeat_Malta_Food_TrailsOffbeat Malta Food Trails 

Offbeat Malta food trails are a one-of-a-kind food tasting tour accompanied by a licenced guide in Valletta. The destinations vary from time to time according to the time of year, size of group, whether it is a private tour outside normal hours, so we do not usually announce the stops beforehand.  The established tour is held every Saturday between 10.00am and 1.30pm the meeting point being outside St John’s Co – Cathedral.  Our hand-picked guides then accompany the groups (not more than 14 for the standard Saturday tour but can be more for private tours which we will tailor accordingly) on a walk around offbeat Valletta visiting a number of eateries where they taste traditional Maltese fare and also some contemporary options. Tours are only available in English.  On our standard tours the guests also receive a copy of our annual publication The Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurants in Malta & Gozo thereby assisting them in their dining choices throughout their holiday.  We recommend they do this tour early in their holiday to be able to visit the outlets to dine again should they wish.  

Offbeat Malta Food Trails

34, Bishops Palace Str Vittoriosa

Telephone: +356 21802383 or + 356 99451690

More information:  www.offbeatmaltafoodtrails.com

www.facebook.com/maltafoodtrails/videos/741399229586239/

Visit us and experience the culinary of Malta during a tasting.

Hall 1.2 / Stand 220


Photo credit: © Rob Fenech