Renowned for its vast cultural heritage and incredible sites, Malta is a treasure trove of historical fortresses, temples and subterranean structures. Its cultural highlights are not limited to these Roman, French and British edifices, though. A quick trip to the island, easily organised thanks to a pre-booked Malta airport transfer, is also a fantastic opportunity to sample some classic Maltese dishes. |
Malta’s Culinary Influences
Most Maltese dishes have a distinctly Mediterranean feel to them. Their recipes often call for tomatoes, olives, honey and locally grown fresh vegetables. The island’s traditional flavours are reminiscent of North African, Sicilian and French cuisine, though the influence of Britain is there too. This extensive culinary heritage is represented through variety of traditional sweet and savoury Maltese dishes. Here are some of the local favourites.
Pastizzi: A Popular Savoury Snack
Often considered the most beloved snack in Malta, this croissant-like pastry is traditionally filled with either mushy peas or salty ricotta. The recipe, which has since been perfected, was first created in the eighteenth century, when naval officers reported eating pastries and cheesecakes similar to that of the modern pastizzi. When in Malta, just head over to the nearest pastizzeria (these tuckshops will be scattered across every village) to treat your taste buds to this delightful snack.
Soppa Tal-Armla: Home Cooking at Its Best
Also known as ‘widow’s soup’, this typically Maltese broth captures the homey feel of the island. The dish was originally prepared by women who mixed a variety of vegetables (including potatoes, cauliflower, beans, peas and carrots) with a tomato paste. They would then leave the soup to slowly simmer all morning and it was ready in time for lunch. In the 1950s, this dish was an essential and cheap source of protein for the poor. Now it is often served with a poached egg or gbejna, a Maltese cheese, to make it a more substantial meal.
Timpana: A Sunday Special
Essentially a pasta pie, this speciality reminds every local of the days when women still had to walk over to the communal bakery ovens to cook their meals. This dish was usually served on a Sunday when large families got together. Today it is served as a starter at Christmas. Boasting strong Sicilian influences, timpana consists of a shortcrust pastry filled with penne pasta in a rich tomato and minced meat sauce and topped with egg and cheese. The pie is then finished off with a flaky puff pastry garnish.
Kannoli: A Sweet Dessert
Served in the best bistros on the island, kannoli are delicious pastry tubes that have been deep fried, filled with sweetened ricotta and topped with icing. It’s the perfect end to a meal, and a great snack for satisfying a mid-afternoon craving.
How to Get There
A variety of low-cost airlines, including Ryanair and easyJet, offer direct three-hour flights from London to Malta International Airport (MLA). If you organise a pre-booked Malta airport transfer, you’ll be met at the airport by a driver who will take to your accommodation.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable pre-booked Malta airport transfer Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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