This Week's Unveiling Of Is-Suq Tal-Belt Has Already Divided Malta
Come for the paella, stay for the gentrification
After literal years of waiting, 2018 has finally come. And anyone in the arts and culture scene knows what that means for Malta - it's the year Valletta becomes the European Capital of Culture.
One of the first big things to happen in the capital this year was the unveiling of the massive refurbishment of is-Suq Tal-Belt. The traditional market and mainstay of Valletta life had gone to the dogs in the last couple of decades, but its newest iteration was officially opened to the public this week.
People are describing the Suq as a 'foodie's paradise', a food market that offers everything from sushi to a mozzarella bar, from fresh pasta to Maltese delicacies.
However, the newly-opened market has come under fire by some of the early visitors. It was criticised as being a soulless harbinger of gentrification to the city, and more so to a historical building that used to be a major part of the fabric of Valletta life. Some people didn't like the aesthetic and feel of the place, while others called it too expensive. Some even said it was a mediocre result after years waiting for it to be opened.
That being said, Is-Suq also had its fans.
Many people have gone on the record to praise the place for bringing a bit of life back to the area, as well as offering tasty food. In their eyes, this is exactly what Valletta should be offering in 2018.
Valletta's newest food market has already become a lightning rod for reactions, and it's barely been open a week. With a big year coming up for Valletta, and with the Suq placed right in the heart of the city, you can expect to hear more opinions all about it.
And even though it is served on a fake table print, the paella is supposed to be pretty damn good.