Are you a fan of Mediterranean food? If you are, then you will be on cloud 9 on the Maltese islands, because here you'll have a chance to savor as many types of Mediterranean recipes as you can handle. While holidaying in Malta, you can also discover many mouth watering Maltese dishes and snacks. Due to the islands’ long history, you will also see various variations of typical Mediterranean dishes, cooked and prepared the Maltese way.
The Maltese incarnation of some popular Mediterranean food has produced some awesome dishes that you must absolutely taste while in Malta. Italian and French (to some extent) cuisine are major influences on the local food.
Perhaps one thing that you will immediately notice and smell, is the glorious Maltese bread. Glorious is just the perfect word for this locally produced type of bread. Dense, crunchy and highly addictive, the Maltese “hobza” (loaf of bread) will have you pining for it even when you’re back home :) Many Maltese people who emigrated to far away places such as Australia and America, will tell you that the Maltese hobza is what they miss the most about Malta. So definitely something that you should try while holidaying in Malta.
A hugely popular snack among locals and visitors alike are the traditional Maltese snack – Pastizzi. These are puff-pastry pockets filled with mashed peas or ricotta. Pastizzi are very cheap and very filling since they’re made with lard-heavy dough. If you'd like to get a good idea of how these heavenly cakes are made, go to our Pastizzi page for the recipes. Do not leave Malta without trying pastizzi. You will regret it for life! :)
Baked Potatoes or Patata l-Forn as the Maltese call it, is one of the top local favourites. It's a delicious yet easy to do meal that consists mainly of pork chops and potatoes. If you'd like to try this tasty meal, go to our Maltese Pork Chops Recipe page.
Rabbit is another Maltese specialty. It is usually served fried or cooked in a casserole. The traditional Maltese Rabbit Stew is one of the most popular dishes in Maltese cuisine. (In Mediterranean food and cuisine in general, rabbit is a much sought after dish). Why not try it out for yourself? Click here for the Maltese Rabbit Stew recipe. Rabbit dishes are served all year round. However, during the popular traditional folk festa “Mnarja” rabbit is served in abundance.
Fish of course features heavily in Mediterranean food. And it's no different with Maltese cuisine. Lampuka (coryphene) is a top favourite. This is a seasonal fish and is very much in demand during its season. The lampuka is cooked in various ways and if you like fish, this is certainly one dish that you must try out. For more information on this delicious type of fish, visit our Lampuki section.
If you like fish soups, then you will love Aljotta, a traditional Maltese fish soup. You can find the Aljotta recipe here. Octopus is another local favourite when it comes to seafood. The most popular dishes are Octopus Stew and Octopus with Garlic. Get the details of these two favourites from our Maltese Octopus Recipes page here.
Hobz biz-zejt is Malta’s favourite summertime snack. This snack consists of slices of Maltese bread spread with kunserva (tomato paste) on one side of each slice. The bread is then topped with olives, capers and chunks of canned tuna. This is the basic version. Many other variations exist and the bread can also be topped with butter beans, slices of gbejna (peppered goat’s cheese), fresh mint leaves, etc.
A local favourite tradition is to have the bread with Bigilla, which is a spicy bean paste. If you're interested in trying this paste, get the details here.
Everyone tends to add that individual touch to their hobz biz-zejt. Whatever the topping, this quick snack is another Maltese snack that you must taste, especially if you’re here in Summer.
Another popular dish which is widely served in many local restaurants is Ravjul. This is the local variation of Italian ravioli. Maltese ravioli are filled with ricotta. If you'd like to try this tasty pasta, visit our Maltese Ravioli Recipe page for the full instructions on how to make ravioli Maltese style!
Perhaps one of the most popular meat dishes among Maltese people is Bragoli i.e. Beef Olives. Feel like trying the Maltese version of this worldwide popular dish? Get the recipe for Maltese Beef Olives here.
Imqarrun il-Forn which is a local baked macaroni dish is by far the most popular pasta meal among the locals. It's not difficult to prepare. Get the recipe from our Maltese Baked Pasta Recipe page.
Similar to baked macaroni, is Ross il-Forn. This one's also a family favourite. It's basically the same dish as the macaroni one BUT the pasta is replaced with rice. If you love rice, than you will definitely love this dish! If you're interested in trying this baked rice dish, go to our Ross il-Forn page for the recipe.
Stuffed Eggplant with potatoes is another local favourite, especially for Sunday lunch. Cooking eggplant need not be difficult. Check out this Maltese eggplant recipe here.
In winter, the Maltese are very fond of soups. Kawlata and Soppa ta' l-Armla are two of the favourites. Get the details of these two soup recipes here.
Kusksu is another popular soup. This soup is made with fava beans and kusksu pasta. It's cooked mainly during Lent. Get this hearty fava bean soup recipe here.
The Maltese are also fond of sweets, cakes and desserts and when in Malta you'll get to savor many of these. Some of the yummiest traditional sweets are seasonal.
If you'd like to learn more about these traditional delicious sweets, visit our Maltese Sweets Recipes page for more information and to get the recipes. It’s in the Maltese culture, to use any excuse to celebrate with exquisite Mediterranean food and yummy local specialties, so …. When in Malta, do as the Maltese do! :)
Do you think that you'll go shopping at a supermarket when on your Malta vacations? Check out our 7 Things You Must Buy from a Malta Supermarket article before you go!