10 Things to Taste during your Malta holidays

Kinnie
Best described as one of Malta’s most distinct soft drinks, Kinnie is formed from an aromatic blend of bitter oranges, sweet spices and pungent herbs. While sounding like something a child might cook-up in their mother’s kitchen, Kinnie’s curious composites mysteriously align to form a devilishly tasty dark-amber nectar.
 
Twistees
Famously found in lunch-boxes around the island (adults included!), this popular snack helps to keep the wolves at bay between meals. Found in cheesy, chicken and bacon flavours, Twistees are the local version of naughty-but-nice nibbles.
 
Mqaret
Sweet and tasty, these deep-fried pastries are truly divine (so long as you don’t count all their calories!). Stuffed with dates and served as a warm dessert, often accompanied with ice cream, these fragrant and softly spiced treats are worth ditching the diet for.
Hobz biz-Zejt
The literal translation, being bread with oil, just doesn’t do this dish justice. A better description would be ‘ a rustic Mediterranean loaf ’. For this specialty, fresh crusty bread is fervently lavished with olive oil and stuffed with a combination of ingredients that include capers, olives, garlic, tuna, anchovies and sweet tomato paste. However, Gbejna – peppery cubes of succulent goat’s cheese, in my opinion, really takes the Hobz-Biz biscuit as the best addition to this delicious bread!
 
Gbejniet
Traditionally made from goats cheese you can find them pickled and plain or pickled and coated in black pepper. For a milder taste try them fresh. Enjoy them with Malta’s popular crackers known as Galletti. Nowadays these are available seasoned with sea salt and black pepper, herbs and even sun dried tomatoes in ready prepared packets.
 
Fenek
Often typified as the national dish, stewed rabbit has become synonymous with Malta’s cultural identity. Almost as important as the soft and succulent meat, however, is the act of going for the meal itself. Known traditionally as a ‘fenkata’, this festive feast is not only an excuse to gather all the friends and family but has become a seasonal occasion for most Maltese.
Timpana
Amalgamating two beloved dishes, Timpana gives you the ultimate pasta-pie. Made from macaroni pasta and bolognese meat, this traditional platter is baked in a puff pastry layer until lightly golden brown. A word of warning, however, this dish is best served with a subsequent nap.
Cisk
A premium lager, Cisk is one of Malta’s most significant exports. Locally brewed with a light and refreshing taste, Cisk can be enjoyed without fear of any beer-belly retribution. Unless, that is, you decide to down ten in row; then are making no such promise!
Bajtra Liquer
Formed from the flesh of the local prickly pear fruit (Bajtra), and shimmering in a translucent red, this luminous liqueur looks deceptively close to a cough mixture medicine. However, far from a revolting remedy, this sweetened solution slips down very easily as an after dinner treat. Some might even call it salubrious for the soul, (I said might…)
Pastizzi
With its very own Facebook page (complete with over 36,000 likes) Pastizzi can be easily deemed the nation’s favourite. Cut into diamond shaped pastries, these local delicacies are lovingly oven baked with a warm ricotta or a spicy pea filling. Transforming into an indulgent treat or tasty snack, Pastizzi perfectly epitomizes the sumptuous Maltese palette.

If you would like to taste some mouthwatering dishes visit one of the top Malta Restaurants at the Grand Hotel Excelsior!

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