Традиционна храна в Малта

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What food should you try in Malta? What is the most common food sold in local restaurants?

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Maltese cuisine

Malta has been largely influenced by its geographical proximity to Italy for a long time. As a result, its Mediterranean cuisine is partly similar to that of neighbouring Italy, with many refinements.

In Malta, both pasta and pizza can be enjoyed in many different variations and flavours. The pizza is really delicious and the pasta is prepared, for example, in the form of ravioli.

There are many seafood dishes on the menus. The most common dishes are sea bass, swordfish, tuna and even dolphin. Apart from fish, you can enjoy octopus or squid. The food is served garnished and seasoned with fresh herbs or topped with cream sauce.

But it is not only the Italian influence that is noticeable in traditional Maltese dishes. In the past, food in Malta has also been influenced by British, Arabic and even Indian cuisine.

Typical Maltese specialities

The national Maltese dish is rabbit in many ways. The most traditional is wine-braised rabbit with potatoes and vegetables, but it is often served with pasta. In restaurants you will often find this dish under the local name "Stuffat tal-fenek".

Rabbit is also commonly eaten in Maltese households, both on festive occasions and in everyday life.

Another very common dish in Malta is fresh sea fish, which you will come across in absolutely every restaurant. Tuna, swordfish and sea bass are common fish in the waters around here.

The most popular fish among the locals is lampuki (also known as mahi-mahi or dorado elsewhere). The very tasty smaller fish migrates around the Maltese islands in autumn, especially between September and December, so this is the time of year to eat it freshly prepared in local restaurants.

Other traditional Maltese dishes include the following:

  • Bragioli - a beef roulade prepared with red wine and stuffed with capers, olives or eggs. A favourite main course in Maltese households,
  • Spaghetti with sea urchin - a very popular dish in restaurants specialising in seafood. Sea urchins are one of the delicacies of Maltese cuisine and are most often served with spaghetti, a dish called Spaghetti Rizzi ,
  • Timpana - this is actually a classic lasagne, a baked pasta with minced meat and béchamel,
  • Ftira - at first sight an uninteresting bread lump, but at first taste an unforgettable experience. Firstly, Maltese bread is considered one of the best in the world and secondly, the ftira is stuffed with a variety of ingredients inside, from olives, tuna, capers to tomatoes and tomato paste,
  • Pastizzi - the most popular snack or "when you're in the mood for something small". These are small puff pastry bags filled with fresh ricotta cheese, peas, spinach or even chocolate.

Drinks

The limestone bedrock, ample sunshine, the right breeze and the consistency of the weather guarantee the best crop of red and white wine each year. There are several wineries in Malta, the most famous being Marsovin, Meridiana, Delicata and other family-run businesses. They all produce quality wines without added ingredients and at a very affordable price.

Maltese Cisk beer is light and ideal for the Mediterranean climate.

The soft drink, Kinnie Maltese Lemonade is very refreshing, its taste is similar to herbal liqueur but without the alcohol. It is made according to a secret recipe from the peel of red oranges and a mixture of herbs. The island of Malta is the only place where it can be tasted.

With a little imagination, Kinnie can be compared to the Austrian drink Almdudler. However, the taste of Kinnie is considerably more bitter.

How to eat like a local

The Maltese like to go to restaurants, but they mainly seek out those far from the tourist traffic, i.e. in the outskirts of towns or in the hinterland.

The ubiquitous bakeries and pastry shops are very popular, where you can have a brunch of pastizzi with cappuccino or the delicious Maltese ftira bread.

Usual restaurant prices

Dinner in a restaurant will set you back about 15 eur per person including a glass of wine, but more likely 20 eur. Expect a higher price for fresh seafood. Generally speaking, of course, in restaurants on beaches or in historic city centres, prices are about 10 to 20% higher than in restaurants further away from the centre of the action. Slightly cheaper on the island of Gozo.

Various local fast-food places offering pizza or kebabs are also popular.

Examples of prices:

  • Main meal (rabbit or bragioli): 20 eur to 25 eur
  • Pasta: 15 eur
  • Fish and seafood: 20 eur to 30 eur
  • Pastizzi or ftira: 1,50 eur to 3 eur
  • Pizza or kebab menu (chips + drink): 15 eur
  • Local beer 0.5 litres: 3 eur up 4,50 eur
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