Maltese cuisine tells the story of a nation on a plate. Essentially, Maltese gastronomy is a special concoction of Mediterranean, Arabic, Italian, French and British influences, all coming together to satisfy the taste buds of islanders and their guests.
Rabbit, horse meat, quail, pork belly and bragioli (or beef olives) are the most traditional main dishes. These are always served with the irresistible Maltese bread, with its crunchy crust and light fluffy centre. Bread is the most popular lunchtime snack, especially the ‘hobz biz-zejt’ – a round of bread dipped in olive oil, rubbed with ripe tomatoes and filled with a mix of tuna, onion, garlic, tomatoes and capers. Baked Pastizzi (flaky pastry parcels filled with ricotta or mushy peas) are always a winner, especially when coupled with a glass of hot tea on a crisp winter morning.
Sweets are mostly influenced by Italian and Arabic cuisines. Ricotta cannoli, date filled Imqaret, the seasonal Kwarezimal (lent sweet based on cocoa, nuts, honey and orange peel) and Figolli (almond based Easter sweet) are a few examples.
Gastronomy is at the heart of Maltese culture, which revolves around sharing and celebration. Being in Malta and tasting local food is like sampling a little bit of the very centre of the Mediterranean.
In Malta we have restaurants all over the island offering several different cuisines. Restaurants vary from simple local snack bars to fine dining high class restaurants. On the other hand, we have a mixture of restaurants throughout the island offering international cuisines including Italian, Chinese, Indian, Arabic and the standard Mediterranean cuisine. These foreign cuisines are normally run by foreign owners and kitchen brigades themselves making the dishes delicious as they are in the place of origin.
Since the Maltese are very keen on eating one can only expect to have several culinary activities. For those that want to learn more on the Maltese cuisine, local DMCs provide the opportunity to have an experience to learn with the greatest chefs on the island. There are many incentive programmes allow delegates to have a first-hand experience in the kitchen.
Also, the local wineries organise guided tours and tastings. Depending on the season, these tours include the whole production, commencing from the initial fermentation through the aging process.
Apart from the traditional dishes, Maltese people are also very fond of BBQ’s, especially in the summer seasons. There are several beaches and parks that one can host a BBQ themed event with special permission from local authorities.