Unique treats from Malta

I love trying out local and traditional foods sweets. So, when I planned our Malta trip I researched a bit Maltese specialties online. I was determined to try as many sweet treats as possible. Don’t get me wrong, I did have snails in Belgium and a forkful of haggis in Scotland but I am not that keen on regular dishes. Desserts are something quite else. I can have a dessert whenever and I have tried many local sweet treats on my travels. My husband is the adventurous one who wants to try all sorts of local dishes. I came across several websites with lists of traditional and/or must-try-food in Malta so we decided to try out some of the items from those lists.

What we drank in Malta

CISK beer – I don’t drink beer at all so it was up to my husband to try the local beer. His verdict: all right but nothing special.

KINNIE– It’s a “Maltese bittersweet carbonated soft drink brewed from bitter oranges and extracts of wormwood”. We actually both liked it. We tried sugar free and classic version. I definitely recommend it. But it has a very specific taste so it’s not to everyone’s liking.

What we ate in Malta

Rabbit – for lunch in Valletta we chose two similar yet different rabbit dishes. My husband had the red rabbit stew and I had rabbit in white wine sauce. Both dishes were delicious but his choice was better.

Ftira – it is a kind of a flattened sourdough bread that can be filled with tuna, olives, tomatoes etc. It is even added to UNESCO list of Intangible cultural heritage. My husband had it and enjoyed it. I am not a fan of tuna so I didn’t try it.

Maltese Sweet treats

shop in Rabat, Malta selling mostly traditional pastries and sweet treats

Pastizzi – we had them in Valletta. We bought them at a small food stall at Triton’s fountain square. They are cheap, delicious, savoury pastry cakes. I really liked the one with ricotta. We didn’t try the other version with mushy peas.

 Imqaret -traditional date cakes. It was good but a bit dry for my liking (in the photo above).

Biskuttini tar-Rahal -village biscuits that are very similar to gingerbread. The lady at the shop in Rabat pictured above explained to me that these biscuits are also given for christening. Then, they have pink icing swirls for girls and blue for boys. I liked it.

Kannoli -it is the Maltese version of Sicilian cannolo. We tried pistachio and chocolate kannoli. Very sweet.

Afternoon tea– Since Malta was under British rule until mid 20th century some British customs such as driving on the left side and an afternoon tea have survived. I was very excited about the prospect of having an afternoon tea in Malta. I googled a couple of places and decided on Fontanella tea garden in Mdina for its beautiful views and good reviews. However, they didn’t actually serve the afternoon tea so I made my own. I ordered some tea, sandwich and a cake. The apple & hazelnut cake was very delicious and surprisingly my sandwich came with crisps. Unfortunately, the other place that I had in mind too for afternoon tea was closed and some other venues didn’t fit into our schedule.

All in all, we ate very well in Malta. We had some other meals too but these were the Maltese specialties that we tried. I enjoyed all Maltese sweet treats but I especially liked ricotta pastizzi.

Have you been to Malta? What did you eat/drink? What was your favourite sweet treat?

This post was written for Friendly Friday challenge with theme: Unique treats.

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25 thoughts

  1. All of these dishes look and sound delicious! I was in Malta last year but since we were mostly out exploring or at the beach every day we mostly ate on the go. I usually love to try local dishes but with a group of friends and many different food preferences/restrictions it is not always easy! Kinda want to go back and try all of this though! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like trying local treats too, if they aren’t too exotic. I’m not very adventurous with things like haggis or frogs’ legs and I don’t eat from street stalls though they might have the best food (and that includes the ones in my home town too!) But I would go to the bakery and try savoury pastries and anything chocolatey 😋

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Malta has notable Italian influence, as evident in the dishes (and their names). I’ve only had rabbit and pastizzi on your list, but I’d also recommend sea urchin pasta (if you know where to find it!) and Twistees, which are their version of crisps/chips. And don’t forget the delicious wine!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love how you explored all the culinary aspects of Malta. That’s what I would do too! I’ve never visited Malta before so I appreciate you taking me there. Yummy.

    Liked by 2 people

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