Category Archives: Maltese Traditions

Traditional Malta Summer Feasts

What comes to mind when you think of Malta during summer? Feast, food, fun, sun, holidays, relaxing, fireworks…. Oh the list is endless!

It is widely known that during the summer months there is a feast almost every week. But one of the biggest feasts in Malta is that of Santa Maria which is celebrated on the 15th August. Several towns and villages around Malta celebrate Santa Maria, namely Mosta, Attard, Mqabba, Qrendi, Gudja, Ghaxaq and Victoria Gozo. Besides it is also a religious and public holiday in Malta so even the Maltese are out to celebrate.

Mosta_FeastAnd if you happen to be in Malta enjoying a short break during the Santa Maria Weekend you can surely enjoy one of the Santa Marija feasts somewhere around the island. Be part of the festa fever; join the locals celebrating in the town or village square, enjoy the amazing fireworks displays, savour some of the traditional festa food, and witness children squeal with joy throwing confetti to one another as they follow the band marching after the local statue.

So if you would like to enjoy a Malta Summer Festa the Grand Hotel Excelsior is offering a Special Package for the Santa Maria Weekend which includes:

• Accommodation in a Deluxe Partial Sea View Room
• A 20% OFF the Bed and Breakfast Rate
• Welcome drink upon arrival
• Daily Buffet Breakfast
• Daily Dinner at the Tiki Terrace per person (food only)
• Two way transfer from the hotel to Mdina and back on the 14th August (evening) to enjoy the fireworks displays
• Two way transfer from the hotel to Mosta and back on the 15th August (evening) to enjoy the Mosta Santa Maria Feast celebrations
• Use of indoor and outdoor pool and fitness centre
• Complimentary pressing service during your stay.

Terms & Conditions Apply.

VIEW OUR MALTA SUMMER FEAST SPECIAL PACKAGE 

Should you wish to experience a typical Maltese Feast during your holidays in Malta contact the Concierge Desk at the Grand Hotel Excelsior and they will organise the excursion for you. And if you would like to enjoy a special summer break, stay at one of the superior Malta Hotels and enjoy a selection of superior Accommodation in Malta.

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Does your country have any traditional dishes? Wondering what Slovakian Goulash is?

When coming across people from different countries, a common question that one asks is ‘what’s a typical dish from your country’?

kotlikovy-gulas

Every country has its traditional food which it is renowned for. For instance in Malta one finds Stuffat tal-Fenek (rabbit stew), Braġioli (beef olives) and Lampuki Pie (fish pie). Other local snacks include hobz biz-zejt (round of bread dipped in olive oil, rubbed with ripe tomatoes and filled with a mix of tuna, onion, garlic, tomatoes and capers) and pastizzi (flaky pastry parcel filled with ricotta or mushy peas).

We’ve asked our Sales & Marketing Trainee, Zuzana Sammut Jurcik, to share with us a typical dish found in her homeland. She mentions Goulash and explains that although Goulash is primarily a traditional Hungarian dish it has also become a popular dish amongst Slovakian people.

Goulash is a popular dish in Slovak homes and restaurants. However you will rarely find a dish that tastes exactly like the other. This varies not only by region but also from one family to another.

We asked Zuzana for some secrets of what makes a Goulash meal so appetising.

Kotlíkový Guláš - outdoor dining

Although there are many different ways to make Gulas, her favourite way is to prepare it outdoors. She tells us that back home (in Slovakia) they call it Kotlíkový Guláš, which is popular at Slovak picnics as it’s cooked on an open fire. However she personally doesn’t think that cooking outdoors is a must. She encourages you to try cooking it in your own kitchen. Why not! And name it ‘Kotlikovy gulas cooked on the stove’! :)

It is simple to cook, delicious and requires minimum preparation time. However, for all the flavours and tastes to come out, one should ensure that it is cooked very slowly for at least a good two hours. The basic version consists of onions, potatoes, water, herbs and spices, and meat – pork, beef, or venison.

So let’s start with the preparations for a delicious Goulash meal!

 

Kotlíkový Guláš
Serves 7,
20mins preparation time,
2hrs cooking time

Cooking Goulash

Ingredients:

  • 0.5kg of beef (front boneless or neck)
  • 0.75kg pork (preferably pork shoulder)
  • 2 tablespoons of lard
  • 2 onions
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves
  • 0.75kg of potatoes
  • 370ml chopped peppers (different colours) and tomatoes.
    (Normally Slovakians use precooked and conserved tomatoes and peppers called ‘Leco’ but it can also be replaced with the fresh peppers and tinned/ fresh sliced tomatoes as these will be cooked during the process)
  • Salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, cumin, marjoram and venison spices – amount varies according to taste preferences
  • 1.5 – 2 tablespoons of cooking oil for the marinade
  • Beer – for the taste and tenderness of meat

For the marinade:

  • 1 mashed clove of garlic, oil, cumin and black pepper mixed together (no salt)

 
Method:
Step 1:
Marinade the meats by cutting the meat into cubes a day before, marinate and let it rest in the fridge till next day.

Step 2:
Put the lard in the pot and add chopped onions. Braise slowly!
After onions turn glossy (Make sure it doesn’t turn brown) add beef, fry for a while whilst adding Cayenne pepper, cumin, black pepper, salt, venison spices and beer

Step3:
Braise the meat slowly and keep adding some water.
Whilst the meat is braising cut a peeled potato into small cubes and add to the cooking meat

Step 4:
After approximately 1 hour add the pork and continue braising. 
Once the pork gets tender add the rest of the potatoes.

Step 5:
Cook until the potatoes become soft and then add the Leco or chopped tomatoes and peppers

Step 6:
Finally add some finely chopped garlic and marjoram. Once all the ingredients are added turn off the stove and let it rest.  You can also add some chilli and spices according to ones’ preference.

Buon appetito! :)
 

Did you enjoy our Goulash recipe? We’ve now challenged Our Kitchen Team to come up with a typical Maltese dish similar to Goulash. So check back soon for more updates!!

And if you would like to try delicious and mouth-watering dishes book a table at one of the top Malta Restaurants at the Grand Hotel Excelsior and you will surely enjoy a 5 star dining experience.

For more information about Kotlíkový Guláš kindly visit:
http://varecha.pravda.sk/recepty/kotlikovy-gulas-fotorecept/40431-recept.html
http://varecha.pravda.sk/recepty/narodne-kuchyne/slovenska-kuchyna/2

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Christmas in Malta – The Maltese Crib

Christmas Traditions in Malta
The Maltese tradition of crib making (“presepju”) was influenced from Sicilian cribs. The earliest Maltese crib known was built at the Dominican Friars Church in Rabat in 1617. Another crib dated on the framework 1826 is found at the Benedictine Nuns in Mdina Malta; and another from the same period is found in Birgu, which has been over restored and not much left from the original. As cribs became more popular they also became more ‘Maltese’ with people replacing the Italian looking buildings and workers with local ones. Flour windmills were and are still popular features in a crib scene.
In Malta, two types of cribs are made-either in the shape of a grotto, or as the traditional large crib. The popular family crib (“presepju tal-familja”), is made with simple materials such as a thin wood base and chicken wire to hold the structure, this is covered with ‘paper mache’, made with home made flour glue. When finished, the crib is left to dry for days, before being painted with bright powder colour. Cardboard, burnt coal or pieces of rustic stone, easily found in Maltese countryside are used to structure larger cribs. Most cribs feature Jerusalem city as the back scenery. Some large cribs are worked mechanically creating the figures and other features moving around the countryside of Jerusalem with various caves, valley, hills with one word and streams.
The first Nativity scenes were decorated with expensive clay figures from Sicily. People could not afford to buy them, so several local crib dilettante, started moulding small clay figures and hand painted the face, hands and clothes. They were very rough and easily broken, so plaster moulds with local earth clay were used, and pressed to produce figurines called “pasturi”, derived from the Italian word “pastore”, which means shepherd, they were sold in many shops for a penny- “pasturi tas-sold”.
The most popular “pasturi”, were dressed in Maltese costumes, representing traditional crafts such as farmers, shepherds, the baker, climber, and the simple man full of wonder with both hands lifted up. Other popular “pasturi” include the musicians, the bagpipe player, the hand drummer, the friction drum player, and the two partners of Maltese folk singers.
The crib has become part of our country’s traditions. With great pride the whole family shows the decorated crib to every one who visits their home during the Christmas festive season.

If you are planning a visit to Malta enjoy your stay in a Luxury Malta hotel. The Excelsior Hotel Malta Team will make sure that you experience the unique Maltese Traditions.

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