I was recently asked if I would be interested in taking part in a cookery challenge with Expedia. Called ‘World on a plate’, the project involved creating culinary delights based around the cuisine of a given European location. I was given Malta – a place that I have visited in the past and totally fell in love with.
Malta is a small Mediterranean island with a interesting cuisine that seems to take it’s influences from both nearby Italy, with oily seafood and salads, and also Middle Eastern dishes, including Pastizzi Tal Pizelli, which is a sort of mushy peas pasty, and also comes in a variety filled with Ricotta cheese. We were sent a huge selection of Maltese foods, including spicy sausages, and Maltese cheese and Gelleti water biscuits, as well as Kimmee drinks (think Campari bitters without any alcohol) and a huge variety of biscuits.
Now, I am the World’s worst cook, but I am pretty good at entertaining, and as my brother and his fiancee were coming to visit, I decided to do a huge Mediterranean buffet, using all the elements and then adding a few of my own – garlic infused prawns, marinated meats, additional cheese, a large dressed salad and some good Maltese wine. Non of the other people around the table had either been to Malta or tried Maltese cuisine, so I thought lots of picky things and taster dishes was a good idea. It proved to be a huge success.
Maltese Buffet with a twist (Chedder Cheese Christmas trees for the little one!)
Maltese food is definitely an acquired taste. Pete loved the rather course bread as he remembered his dad buying something really similar from the Italian shop when he was a child. The biscuits were sweet and delicious, the ones with the pink icing had an almost floral taste – think Lavender biscuits, and were simply delicious.
The buffet was a huge success, with everyone converted to the delights of at least one of the Maltese dishes (the cheese being a particular delight). If you are planning a family get together this Christmas, why not think outside the box and go Maltese?