If there’s one thing that’s more iconic than Malta’s most popular monuments and landmarks, its the food you can buy from its streets. Everyone’s aware of the incredible pastizzeria phenomenon that dominates every Maltese village, but when you consider all the każini and sports bars, that’s only scratching the surface.
One Maltese man has finally managed to bring all of that together, with a hilarious Facebook series, X’Għandi Fil-Borża, rating food from around the island. The series started earlier this year, but more than 20 entires later, it’s now going from strength to strength.
The most beautiful part of Antonio Tufigno’s posts is the poetic detail that each review goes into. This is not a simple yes / no series. The full name, price, presentation and venue is detailed, but that’s just the beginning. Every individual entry has specific variables which change from one episode to the other, and they vary from Stomach Ache to Randomness, from Crumb Consistency to Feelings of Artificiality and Distance From Nature.
Tufigno has rated pretty much everything, including imqaret, timpanas, cannoli, qubbajt and a ftira or two. Each review gets a couple of photos accompanying it, normally a close-up of the food, a photo of the place where it was bought, and a snap of any people accompanying Tufigno. As the reviews get longer, they get funnier by the second. There’s even a very handy total percentage rating to finish off the whole thing, and Tufigno has given anything from 44% to 94% to various food.
In case you’re wondering what type of food managed to get the coveted 94% rating, that would be the round pizza from Muscat, a famous pastizzeria which shot to fame thanks to various generations of students at Junior College. Tufigno pines over the pizza on multiple occasions, but his closing words are simply gold. “Just like Mintoff’s oversized torch is a symbol of freedom, Muscat’s pizza should be officially recognised as the main symbol of integration with immigrants”.
Other high ratings were awarded to the famous doughnut bun (or “doughnut mit-twal bin-Nutella”) sold from a green van that does the rounds around the island. This was given 92%, joining the hall of fame along with Queen’s Pastizzerija’s timpana, which Tufigno described as having a legendary status akin to the lost Dead Sea Scrolls.
There are far too many classic moments from Tufigno’s series to mention, and whether the food was loved or hated, it always managed to get a hilarious analogy or two. On a particular pizza from a Birkirkara pastizzeria, for example, he described the level of oil in the bag simply as “George W. Bush”.
On another review of a maqrut, he specifically listed a new variable, Psycho-physical damage derived from the consumption of the product in a 34 degree heat. For the record, his rating in this regard was “Priceless”.
Always willing to make everything way more traditionally Maltese by bringing it the environment around him and the many monuments that dot the islands’ landscape, Tufigno had even pointed out how, last July, a statue of Freddie Micallef seems like it was signalling for him to hand it a bit of his ftira estiva from a nearby Mosta establishment.
Last month, Tufigno also found his way to Afghan Natural Food, a Ħamrun ethnic eatery which has been making waves online. The review of a garlic naan he bought tallied with previous hype, receiving an impressive 90%.
The only shortcoming, it seems, was in the Permanent Taste of Garlic section. “Biblical,” Tufigno said. “If you blow on the windscreen, you’ll get dizzy with the ricochet”.