It’s no secret that the Maltese love their food, and so it should be no surprise that they’re excellent cooks as well. As many Maltese expats (or people like me who have one Maltese parent and one foreign) can vouch – there’s nothing quite like that taste of home.
Here’s some food that when given a Maltese twist is totally transformed in the best way possible.
1. Egg and Maltese Soldiers
This one’s a favourite amongst the Brits. A barely-boiled egg and toast sounds simple enough, but those who have made egg and soldiers before know that getting this meal right is far from easy!
Correct timing is essential, if your egg is left to boil for any longer than 4 minutes exactly then forget it. But, if you can master the perfect dippy egg then this will be the breakfast of champions. If you’re looking for a way to make this breakfast even better just switch that boring buttered toast for some classic Ħobż tal-Malti. You can thank us later.
2. Qarabali (that’s courgettes to you)
To the Maltese the idea of just boiling qarabali is akin to blasphemy. The scary truth is – so many other places do it. If there was ever a way to kill the soul of a vegetable it’s to boil it and yet that’s probably what every English mother would do. Sorry mum, but dad’s Maltese style vegetables were always better.
Any Maltese people reading this may be confused as to why qarabali are worth mentioning, but that’s because they haven’t tried a boiled courgette before.
When it comes to bread the Maltese reign supreme. Stand aside Hovis and Warburtons because you are nothing when it comes to freshly baked ħobz. Honestly, there’s absolutely no contest.
Thick crust, but light and fluffy in the middle – it’s everything bread should be. In fact Maltese bread tastes so good that it is used as a side with nearly every meal. Can the same be said in England? I think not.
4. Spaghetti and Pasta
Al dente – that is the only way to have it. Oh, and for my fellow Britons – in Malta the word pasta doesn’t just mean penne. FYI.
In England people would always comment on how tasty my dad’s cooking was. His reply was always the same: “if you want something to taste good just use garlic”.
One dish that this definitely works for is steak. Why is it that so few people in England fry their steak with garlic? You don’t know what you’re missing out on. Learn a lesson from the Maltese and give garlic a chance, it’s wonderful.
The concept of braġoli is insane: beef stuffed with beef. Need I say more? No… but I will.
Braġoli are little rolls stuffed with egg, garlic, ham and parsley (and minced beef). Imagine little beef parcels on your dinner plate. This weird yet delightful play on a plain beef cut takes the meat to a new level of flavour.
7. Rabbit is everything
Rabbit is so tasty, and it’s a real shame that it is overlooked as a meat option in England. Rabbit with spaghetti, rabbit stew, rabbit ravioli, fried rabbit – basically substitute any type of meat for rabbit in a recipe and you will not regret it.
Cast aside any love you have for the likes of Peter Rabbit and eat him instead. He is tasty AF, I promise.
8. Patata Fgata
In England you normally have four options for potatoes: mashed, boiled, baked or chips. I’ll give it to us, the English make some bloody good chips, and mashed potatoes with gravy is heaven. But the Maltese can hold their own when it comes to potatoes.
According to our reliable source, potatoes are life in Malta. Next time, cook your potatoes with olive oil, onions and garlic then season with salt and pepper. So simple and so effective. You can also add bay leaves, parsley, basil and white wine if you are really feeling adventurous.
Many parts of Maltese culture have been shaped by Britain… but food is one aspect that the Maltese don’t need any help with.