12. The ‘don’t bothers’
There are a few menu items that, while still tasty, aren’t worth their weight in calories (particularly when there’s so many better things to consume). Here’s a quick synopsis of the don’t bothers:
Plain sausage roll – not worth the pastry is to sausage ratio.
Burger pie – delicious, but we can never condone such monstrosities.
Ham and cheese pie – so creamy, but honestly just make a toastie at home.
Chicken pastizz – you could have been great, but you weren’t.
Qassata tal-irkotta or piżelli – the stuffing-is-to-pastry ratio is just not acceptable
11. Spinach & tuna pie
Thick, trusty and tasty – just what you’d expect from any decent meal. The downside of course, is the terrible smell that’ll trail you all day.
Each bite has just the right level of ‘is this undercooked’ gooeyness. There’s something unique about a take-away mqarrun‘s flavour, and it’s probably the little hint of foil thrown into the mix.
9. Round pastizzi
When you’re bored of regular pastizzi (blasphemy) these little buggers make for a great change of pace. The fully round ones are ricotta and the half-moon shaped ones are peas. Something about these guys just feels healthier. Still they’re not really on the same level as a regular pastizz.
8. Chicken & mushroom pie
A favourite, particularly among sixth-formers, the delicious creamy filling featuring absorbed into the pastry is the definition of tasty.
7. Ross il-forn
You get the pleasure of baked pasta, a good hearty portion and the pastizz pastry on top of it all. What more could you want?
6. Pizza biż-żebbuġ
As classic as they come, the plainest of pizzas still reigns supreme over most variations. The occasional salty tang from the sliced green olives mixed in with the boiling hot cheese is basically the taste of your childhood (and many a drunken night).
5. Spinach & anchovy qassata
Unlike its lesser cousins, this qassata packs a punch with every bite. More filling than a pastizz (although less iconic), this is one giant calorie-ball you cannot get bored of. You can also buy a bunch of fun-sized ones, and freeze them for a rainy day.
4. Pastizz tal-irkotta
Move aside eight-pointed cross, the pastizz is Malta’s one true symbolic representative. Some people like them plain, others dip them in sugar – there really is no wrong way to eat this gift to the Maltese people (except perhaps having only one).
3. Sausage & egg pizza
Colloquially known as the ‘pizza raġel‘ (we’ll let you figure that one out alone) this is the best pizza option at every pastizzerija, and pastizzerija-pizza had to be top three. So there you go – basic science.
Anyone who tells you this isn’t the perfect food while drinking, or when you’re hungry, or when you just want a quick snack is wrong and should not call themselves your friend.
2. Pastizz tal-piżelli
Imagine all the compliments we paid the pastizz tal-irkotta, but this time add “oh my god how do peas taste this good” into the mix. If you’re lucky enough to buy one with a thin crust of burnt leaked-filling along the rim remember there are no blessings quite as great as this.
And the winner is…
1. Wudy-cheese sausage roll
The one true champion of all the Maxim’s choices. It’s uniquely Maltese but incorporates foreign ingredients (good luck explaining this one to expats). The pastry just peels off, the flecks of sesame seeds add the perfect texture, and the flavours from the wudy sausage are indescribable. Honestly, we’re going to have to stop here cos the cravings are too real.