One of the island’s most popular Maltese restaurants has launched a perfectly-timed new menu that goes well beyond an easy April Fools’ pun. Gululu‘s new ful-based spring menu is a celebration of the delicious bean, and it looks glorious.
Ful, also known as the fava bean or broad bean, has been a staple of most Mediterranean diets for centuries, with records of the food going as far back as Neolithic times.
The easy-to-grow bean, which is rich in fibre and low in fat, has been a reliable and cheap source of protein to hundreds of generations. Planted in December by simply pressing a couple of dry beans into the soil, the bean transforms into a metre-tall plant adorned with with pretty white flowers.
Gululu’s Festa Tal-Ful sees four ful-based dishes hit the restaurant’s menu
Inevitably, the traditional and local favourite kusksu bil-ful – a thick soup with shelled ful, tomato concentrate small thick pasta beads and a little fresh gbejna – features on the menu.
In Malta’s rustic answer to the Italian pizza, this year’s Festa menu also includes the ftira fulija.
Also on the menu are ful imgiddem (bitten beans), robust beans which need to be skinned twice and cooked until they looked ‘bitten’.
Gululu’s ful imgiddem are spread over crunchy toasted Maltese bread baked in a wood-burning oven topped with ful, fresh ricotta flavoured with lemon zest, marjoram and roughly ground pepper.
Bringing the festa to an end is the ħamiema tal-baħar, literally meaning sea dove. This is actually skate, pan-fried and served with a lemony bean and caper mash.
The menu was launched today and can be enjoyed at Gululu’s Restaurant in St Julian’s.