Mouthwatering Maltese Meals
Influenced by the many foreign cultures that have ruled the country over the centuries, Maltese cuisine is an eclectic mix of Mediterranean fare. Traditional Maltese food is rustic and seasonal, full of the distinctive flavours of a central Mediterranean island. Fresh vegetarian pâté typical in French restaurants, sit alongside more Sicilian influences like fresh bread rubbed in sun-ripened tomatoes and Middle-Eastern pastries given a Maltese twist, making the country’s culinary identity truly unique. More hearty fare includes thick, but healthy vegetable soups and the nation’s favourite dish of rabbit stew. Not to mention a variety of freshly caught fish and seafood all year round. On top of this Malta produces some excellent wines, which although not known for export, have won numerous awards at international competitions alongside its larger Mediterranean neighbours.
What to try: Fenek bit-tewm ul l-inbid (rabbit cooked in garlic and wine) or Torta tal-lampuki more commonly known as Lampuki pie (mahi-mahi baked in a pie with tomatoes, onions, black olives, sultanas and walnuts).
Sumptuous Cypriot Cuisine
Considered by many to be one of the best things about a visit to Cyprus, Cypriot cuisine is a joy to behold. Gifted by a wonderful climate, rich fertile land and the fruits of the surrounding Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus offers up endless meze, fresh fish and flavoursome fruit and vegetables. It’s location on the crossroads between Europe and the Middle East leaves its chefs with a variety of herbs and spices as well as culinary influences.
What to try: Try A meze (mixture) of Koupepia (stuffed vine leaves), keftedes with tzatziki (fried meatballs with a mint and cucumber yoghurt), halloumi (Cyprus’ world famous cheese made from goat and sheep milk) and fresh olives.
Savoury Spanish Dishes
Due to their popularity as tourist resorts since the 1960s you can find food from all corners of the globe in the Spanish Costas. Traditional cuisine is still widely available however, with Spanish flavours and the fruits of the sea taking centre stage. Expect to find paella made from incredibly fresh seafood on practically every menu, as well as prawns, squid and a changeable catch of the day. To supplement this you’ll find fresh salads, tasty meat dishes and sumptuous vegetable soups. Malaga, in particular, is famous for it’s refreshing, ice-cold Gazpacho soup.
What to try: Gambas al Pil Pil (an Andalusian speciality of prawns prepared with garlic, parsley & paprika) or Arroz a banda (Costa Blanca’s rival to paella – fish, peppers, rice & garlic).
Exquisite eats from Majorca & the Canary Islands
Canarian cooking combines traditional Spanish recipes with influences from Africa and Latin America. Known for freshness, the volcanic soil and warm climate provide an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. We know the Canary Islands are strictly in the Med, but they’re close enough. In actual fact, the surrounding Atlantic Ocean offers up a variety of fish and seafood, while the inland hills offer the perfect rearing ground for pork, rabbit and goat for the hearty meat stews these islands are famous for. Balearic cuisine is similar to Catalan and is rich in seafood, vegetable stews, cured meat and of course, paella.
What to try: Vieja a La Plancha (grilled parrot fish) served with Papas Arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) and Mojo Verde (green sauce – made with olive oil, garlic, vinegar, salt & coriander).
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