Dear Maltese food people, I hope your day is going well. I also hope that you have enough time to sit down and read my letter bearing my feelings. This is a letter about the food you’re so passionate about, and why some things need to change.
Look, food is one of the most pleasurable experiences in life. It creates memories, it transports you back to forgotten ones, and it also has the power to instantly improve your mood no matter what.
I consider myself to be a person who really enjoys eating. I do not eat to live, but I live to eat. Literally; I carry snacks in my handbag on a daily basis. I become quite miserable if there’s no good food around. Food is life.
However, occasionally, I get frustrated with weird food trends and fads which take over the country for at least seven years. Here are some things which need to change. Soon. Please.
1. Stop building food towers which are impossible to eat
Do you like food? Duh. Do you also like jenga? Probably. But do you enjoy playing foodjenga? Because I don’t, and I’m quite sure you wouldn’t either.
Please, please, please stop building behemoth towers of stacked food.
God semi-punished the citizens of Shinar for building the tower of Babel in Genesis (11: 1,9). Don’t force him to punish you for building a tower of pancakes with five toppings, half a kilo of cream and a gallon of Nutella.
There is no way you will be reaching heaven on your impossibly tall pancake tower. Also, there’s no way in heaven I will manage to consume it all.
“Upps waqatli hehehe”
2. Newspapers are OK to read, but not to eat
I had a rabbit a long time ago that really enjoyed eating all sorts of paper. Books, newspapers and even a letter I once got from my dentist. I never understood what the appeal was.
Apparently, though, I am in the minority, as a lot of restaurants serve food in a bundle of newspapers.
Food served in paper is generally quite greasy. Grease and paper don’t mix, unless you like peeling bits of newspaper from the bottom of your ginormous tower burger.
Do I look like I suffer from xylophagia?
3. You can prevent a multitude of catastrophes if you close my burger
How many of your waiters keep wasting their valuable time sweeping underneath every table after each meal to pick off your deep fried jalapeños and refried beans? All of them, that’s how many.
It might look cool for you to present me with a bun bottom filled with stuff and a bun top filled with other random stuff for me to construct, but it’s not practical for me. Not practical at all.
I do not need to close my food myself, only to end up dropping half of its contents all over myself and your restaurant floor in the process.
I’m already having enough trouble trying to unhinge my jaw like a frigging reticulated python to take a bite off this colossal bun.
4. Stop using meaningless words
Is it a compote or a jam? Or a jus? No, it’s a sauce. Are your mushrooms foraged? Of course they are, all mushrooms are you dillhead.
Is it a roulade? It’s a roll.
Oh oh, so you hand-selected your qarabagħli? As opposed to what? Having them thrown at you by an insane local farmer?
Look at this seared composition duo of gourmet chicken breast and breadcrumbs. It’s literally chicken nuggets bro.
Please pack your knives and go home with your braised chanterelles and pommes frites. I am here to eat, not to hastily learn new words as I try to make my order.
Also, can we stop calling everything gourmet? It literally means someone who knows good food. How is my duck breast a food connoisseur, pray tell?
5. Take the sizes down a notch or two
Alright, so everyone likes to buy bigger stuff sometimes, like jumbo toilet paper, colossal ice cream tubs, maxi dresses, and giant towels. But not all of us like cyclopean sized foods.
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the taste. It’s just that sometimes, I really feel like having dessert after a meal.
Maybe we could get a smaller version of your quintuple-decker four cheese bacon glazed duck fat injected ħobza tal-Malti burger fried in goose fat and served with sage-infused tomato compote drizzled fries?
And don’t smash your keyboard trying to write something in the lines of “jekk ma jogħġbokx tordnaħx” in the comments section. Wouldn’t it be better for your business if I had a proper sizing choice? A starter-sized burger which has the same ingredients and flavours?
Less food will be thrown away and I might have space for dessert too. Feed the world, but don’t overstuff it.
6. What have plates ever done to you?
Do you have an irrational fear of ceramics?
Is it because your nanna would never let you touch her hideous collection of china plates? Are you afraid that maybe I will not drop any food on the table if I have proper plating?
Why on earth am I eating food off a chopping board?
7. Can we sign a treaty to stop overcooking pasta?
For the love of God, we are literal neighbours to a country known for cooking pasta. Our mums cook the best pasta ever and our ancestors wanted to be a part of Italy for so long that it broke the Brits’ hearts into a million pieces.
Why on earth is it such a plight for you to read the instructions on your Barilla box and follow them?
Why does my penne with mushrooms and white sauce look like Johnny Depp’s over-puffed face? Why does my pasta look like an alcoholic wife-beater?
8. Mason jars don’t magically turn a mediocre plate into a tasty one
This circles back to the why do you hate plates argument.
Why is my salad in a mason jar? Are you trying to distract me from the fact that it’s just an OK-tasting salad?
And why are you layering my food? Is that how you would construct a burrito? Are you a food molester? Or are you just hiding your horcruxes in my quinoa?
9. Stains are really hard to get rid of
Listen, I know, sauce makes everything a gazillion times better.
It’s delicious and you can give it fancy names like jus. However, and I cannot stress this enough… I do not want to wipe my hands, arms, elbows, table and pants after every single bite of hand-held food I take.
The majority of the food I order would be monstrously drenched with copious amounts of sauce and so is 20% of my body after I’m done eating it.
It drips out of the panina’s backside, between my fingers, down the palm of my hand, runs down my elbow and finally ends up on my crotch and thigh.
I would be fine with this if I had an actual plate to catch some of the sauce, but those infinity pool-style planks of wood you serve your food on do not do us any favours.
10. Coloured food looks stupid
Whoever came up with the idea of splooshing food colouring all over random foodstuff is an utter and complete monster. It doesn’t taste better, it just looks like something I would avoid out in the wild.
Why is this burger green? Why? No, please really, tell me why. It perplexes me.
11. Is there a starter portion for this gargantuan dessert?
I don’t want you to reduce sizes, because sometimes I eat desserts as a meal.
But I would really appreciate it if I could have a smaller version of the dessert available if I’m planning to consume it after a meal. Especially if said meal is one of the aforementioned open faced burgers.
Sometimes, I really appreciate having a tinier portion, and the argument is similar to the one we previously had with actual food; I would eat all of it, meaning less food waste.
12. Stop being lazy when it comes to desserts
Since we’re talking about desserts, can we discuss the fact that some restaurants are lazy as fuck when it comes to these heavenly treats?
Fine; some of you go out of your way to create the most elaborate-looking and frivolous dishes in existence, but others are just trying their best to put their clients off.
Why on earth do you not make your own desserts? You don’t fool me, I know damn well that that Snickers cake is store brought. I also know that cheesecake came from a Dr. Oetker box.