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Maltese Cuisine

Maltese cuisine is a cultivated relationship between the traditions of indigenous inhabitants and many other foreign influences coming from centuries of colonial domination. The most pronounced impact on Maltese gastronomy came from Italian cuisine, maybe because of the country’s proximity or maybe because it’s just the most delicious food on Earth.

Maltese people mostly rely on seasonal produce and fishermen’s catch. Royal turbot, delicious grouper or simple herring are commonly used fish for Maltese dining. Apart from that, seaside restaurants are famous for their fresh seafood—octopus, squid, mussels and clams are cooked in rich wine sauces or simply grilled and seasoned.

Malta’s authentic cuisine includes a variety of pastries (pastizzi), cheeses (gbejnjet), stews and stuffed dishes (ravjul). Here I offer some of these amazing foods.

Pastizzi (cheese and meat pies)

For cheese pastizzi
2 lbs. pastry dough (Pillsbury is good!)
2 lbs. ricotta cheese
salt to taste
2 eggs

For meat pastizzi
2 lbs. pastry dough
1 large onion
1 lb lean ground beef
2 cans of pees
2 teaspoons tomato paste
spices and herbs to taste

Cheese pastizzi
Place ricotta cheese and two eggs in a bowl and mix thoroughly.  Add a bit of salt to the mixture for taste. Roll out the dough and cut it into three-inch circles. Put one tablespoon of cheese mix in the middle of each circle. Fold each circle into a sack and squeeze the ends together. Put pastizzi on a greased baking sheet and place it in a preheated oven (350-425 degrees). Bake for about an hour. To check if ready, Pastizzi should be a golden-brown color. Enjoy!

Meat pastizzi
Chop the onion and sauté in olive oil. When the onion starts turning golden-brown, add the ground beef. Cook for a bit, stirring occasionally, and then add tomato paste, spices and herbs. Mix well and then add the pees. Pepper and salt the mixture to taste. Roll out the dough and cut it into three-inch circles. Then repeat the same procedure as with cheese pastizzi. Yum!

Maltese Rabbit Stew

1 rabbit
2 chopped onions
6 garlic cloves
3 peeled and chopped large tomatoes
2 teaspoons tomato paste
3 big potatoes
6 sliced carrots
1 cup peas
2 bay leaves
mixed herbs to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 ¼ cups red wine

Mix flour, salt and pepper, and roll rabbit chucks in it. Place rabbit in a pot and cook in olive oil on medium heat until slightly brown. Add chopped onions, tomatoes, potatoes and garlic to the pot. Pour some wine over the ingredients. Add tomato paste, peas and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then leave it on a slow heat for about 1½ hours. Add more wine if sauce begins to dry up. In the end, add herbs and spices to taste. I personally like to serve it with sour cream (a Russian touch!).


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