Are These The Most Beautiful Pastizzi In Malta?

They look good enough to eat


The standard pastizz of old is part of a crowded market nowadays. The iconic Maltese food now comes in some impressive varieties, such as Maltese sausagebeef cheek and curried pea, and even nutella.

But the newest pastizz to hit the town might just be the most fabulous of them all. The thing is, it isn't edible. 

"The Pastizzi Project aims to bring an honest, satirical and subtly humorous revision of identity within the context of the island," says Kane Cali, creator of the colourful pastizzi. 

"After all, humour is only made funny with traces of truth. Using a recognisable object enables the work to communicate and attached to a wider array of local agendas."

For Kane, nothing symbolises Malta more than the 400-calorie pastry.

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"Having spent a good portion of my life living abroad, and more recently finding myself back on the island, living at the grocery and buying local again, gives one room to see things in a different light," he says.

"One starts to question his own identity and that of his surroundings. What does it mean to be Maltese beyond the obvious stereotype?" he asks. 

"Forget eight-pointed crosses and luzzus; it clearly all boils down to pastizzi."

Describing them as "a favourite amongst all locals, a common language amongst all social classes; utilitarian, low cost/high fat... and open to a multitude of innuendoes," Kane went to great lengths to make these the most beautiful pastizzi on the island.

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"The pastizzi I’m making are based on actual pastizzi bought from local patizzerias," he says. "Lets just say I’ve developed a keen eye for good-looking pastizzi… no, no they’re not all made with love."

"Once the right pastizzi are selected, moulds are made directly from them. From this point on a loss-wax technique is adopted in order to create the final crystal objects; this is a similar process to bronze casting," he says. 

The raw material comes in the form of large coloured glass pebbles which are melted too 800 degrees Celsius. After heating, the moulds are destroyed and the glass ground and polished.

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These models will form part of a six by five metre wall-hanging installation that will be comprised of around 300 cast crystal pastizzi.

Entitled 'Rituals for Consumption', "the aim of this large work is to emulate the colours and effects of a stained glass church window. Specialist lighting is being installed to amplify its presence within the stark Carrara setting," says Kane.

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The Pastizzi Project is part of a commission through Iniala5 galleries for the newly opened Tigne offices in front of The Point in Sliema.

"From a thematic perspective, the work takes on a satirical and somewhat humorous angle in which the local pastizz becomes more than a consumable savoury pastry and, rather, is elevated towards finding authenticity in the daily rituals of the contemporary Maltese demographic," he concludes. 

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Written By

Johnathan Cilia

Johnathan is interested in the weird, dark, and wonderful contradictions our late-capitalist society forces upon us. He also likes music and food. Contact him at [email protected]