I have this problem where every time I go abroad for more than a week, I start to feel homesick.
It’s not that I start getting separation anxiety from being away from my cat for too long… well, maybe a little bit. In reality, what I miss the most is the taste of a Maltese ftira for breakfast.
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with foreign cuisine because, trust me, I don’t think anything can top a fresh pizza from Naples.
However, eating Maltese food is like getting a warm hug from the inside.
The only downside to it is that the hugging always turns into strangling as I devour an entire baking tray of patata il-forn on my own.
Needless to say, I love Maltese cuisine and I’m sure we can all agree on that.
I crave it so much that sometimes I can’t even decide which dish to prepare for dinner. So, I just sit and contemplate on the beautiful combinations I could create that would leave any nanna shook and also slightly offended.
Ross il-Forn & Stuffat tal-Fenek (Baked Rice & Rabbit Stew)
Oh, ross il-forn! You warm dish of goodness that has everyone going back for seconds… maybe even thirds… actually, let’s have a forth for good measure. It’s the last one… promise.
Now imagine swapping out the traditional beef ragú with the flavour bomb that is the stuffat tal-fenek!
Tender rabbit mixed with creamy rice… QMH, YES!
Timpana & Zalzett tal-Malti (Baked Pasta Pie & Maltese Sausage)
I LOVE timpana!
Carbs topped with extra carbs? Yes please, forever and ever amen!
Whether it’s homemade or coming from my local passtizzeria, my mouth starts to salivate just by looking at it. And don’t get me started on my nanna’s recipe! I could just …
… wow, sorry, I think I just went to heaven and back.
Having said this, I’d be lying if I told you that I’ve never thought of swapping the minced beef in the sauce with some salty and juicy Maltese sausage.
Pastizzi & Bigilla (Pastizzi & Bean Paste)
We’ve done ricotta, we’ve done peas, we’ve done chicken, we’ve even done Maltese sausage for crying out loud!
So, what’s stopping us from making a bigilla pastizz… or even a qassata maybe!?
That would definitely be something I’d chow down while sipping a warm cup of tea from Serkin.
Kannoli & Ġbejniet Friski (Cannoli & Fresh Goat Cheese)
I know, I know. Cannoli aren’t really Maltese. They come from Sicilian and Italian traditions.
However, you can’t deny that they have become somewhat of a staple within our culture nowadays.
I guess it’s time for us to make it our own, and what better way to do so than having a cannolo with sweet goat cheese instead of ricotta?
Imqaret & Ħobż tal-Malti (Fried Date-Stuffed Pastry & Maltese Bread)
Ok, hear me out before you break your eyebrows.
Think of the way imqaret look. Now take away the pastry and replace it with fresh Maltese bread.
I don’t know about you but to me that sounds like a heavenly midnight snack… if you’re willing to do some frying in the middle of the night that is.
Figolla & Kwareżimal (Marzipan Stuffed Pastry & Spiced Honey-Almond Biscuit)
A few Easters ago, a figolla had come to me in a dream, but to my surprise, instead of sweet pastry, it had kwareżimal as a crust.
What an idea I said to myself as I rushed downstairs to dip some leftover kwareżimal in the marzipan mixture my mother was preparing.
It’s become a sort of Easter tradition for me now.
Oh, don’t look at me like that! You’re the one who’s missing out!
K, bye now. I’m ravenous after all these ideas.
I’m going to make myself something tasty and wash everything down with a nice cold Kinnie… or Cisk… or both!? Hmmm.