Top 15 Things to Try in Malta
Pastizzi are a local, traditional snack, made of puff pastry and stuffed with either ricotta cheese or crushed peas. Although not the healthiest option, it is definitely worth the extra calories, as there are delicious! They usually cost between 30 – 50 Euro cents and you can find these at pastizzerias, small shops common all over the islands.
A local, non-alcoholic soft drink, tasting of bitter oranges, it is locally produced and distributed. For those more conscious of their diet, there is a diet version without sugar.
Twistees are an iconic, Maltese snack produced by the local company Darell Lee Foods. They are backed, not fried and in the original version, they have a unique cheesy flavour.
5. Tuna Ftira
A ring-shaped piece of traditional Maltese bread filled with tuna, capers and a tomato sauce known as kunserva. This dish is very popular among locals.
6. Ħobż -biż-Żejt - 'Bread with Oil'
Delicious, toasted Maltese bread with a tomato ‘kunserva’ spread. Topped with fresh or dried tomatoes, olives, capers, sweet corn, butterbeans, basil and green beans.
Fenkata is a very traditional Maltese dish, having been served since nearly 500 years ago. Although the recipe may have changed and is served differently, depending on the locality, it is essentially a rabbit stew. The lean meat of a rabbit is cooked in a stew comprised of tomatoes, red wine, potatoes, peas, carrots, onions and flavoured with garlic and chili flakes.
Traditional water crackers made of semolina flour and usually flavoured with sesame seeds, oregano or black pepper. Eaten as either a snack or an appetizer before a meal, Galetti are usually served with dips, cheeses, cold cuts and on their own. They are sold in packets but can also be ordered in restaurants and bars.
9. Maltese Wine
Although Malta doesn’t have the largest wine industry due to the lack of space, fertile soil and freshwater sources make the local wine here more refined than you would expect. Winemaking has actually been practiced on the islands for well over 2000 years, and today there are 5 major wine producers that operate in Malta. These are: Marsovin, Delicata, Camilleri Wines, Montekristo and Meridiana, along with two wineries in Gozo, namely Ta’ Mena, and Tal–Massar. The largest producers, Marsovin and Delicata have wines available to buy in almost all over Malta, in most grocery stores.
Ġbejna are small cheeselets, produced locally from goat or sheep’s milk. Made in both Malta and Gozo, they can be found in many different forms, you can have them pickled, salted, peppered, seasoned with herbs, or plain and fresh.
Bigilla is bean paste made of local beans, olive oil, salt, and pepper. It is usually served as a dip to accompany bread or galletti.
12. Maltese Liquers
There are a few Maltese liqueurs made from traditional ingredients. They are rich and sweet, with the consistency of a syrup, having an alcohol content of around 21% AVB. The most famous one is bajtra, which is a made from the Maltese prickly pears. Another popular one is the carob liqueur – made from the carob tree, indigenous to the Islands. The other available flavours include: lemon, honey, fennel and pomegranate.
13. Maltese Pizza
Although Pizza is a quintessentially Italian dish, the pizza in Malta differs quite considerably from that of the Italians. It is usually prepared with a thicker base, different toppings and sauces, such as sliced tomatoes, Maltese sausage, egg, potatoes, green peppers, capers and even gbejna. You can buy square slices of the pizza from the street pastizzerias for around 1-1.50 EUR/piece.
14. Maltese Ravioli
Traditional pasta dough cut out into circles and then stuffed with fillings such as gbejna or ricotta, then boiled and served with a tomato sauce. A very authentic, traditional dish of Malta.
Timpana is a Maltese pasta pie. The macaroni is cooked in a bolognese based sauce with minced meat, bacon, tomatoes, garlic, onions and cheese. Later it is baked in a pie made of puff pastry. A favourite among locals, it can also be bought from the street pastizzerias.