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Maltese Cuisine

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Malta- Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Maltese Cuisine HistoryEdit

Malta is an island country in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily which has a traditional cuisine influenced by Italian and North African cuisine. Maltese cooking is an attractive blend of influences that reflects Malta's location and history. Principally Italian influences are found in Maltese cuisine but also influences from the kitchens of North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. Over the centuries, all of these distinct components have been integrated into a uniquely wholesome and flavorful mélange. The Maltese kitchen has much in common with its Sicilian neighbors. The two islands are just sixty miles distant and their climatic environment, soil and fish are very similar. Maltese food is rustic and based on seasonal produce and the fisherman's catch. Although many vegetables and fruit makes from Maltese cuisine a special and tasty “show” but the most common dish remains always fish.

Cuisines of Malta Edit

Map of Malta

Map of Malta- Click to enlarge

Pastry of all kinds is used to encase vegetables, cheese, fish, meat, rice and pasta, producing tasty and filling dishes. These embrace subtle combinations of young Cauliflower florets, sheep or goat cheeses and egg contained in a crisp pastry, similar in taste to quiche, or the stronger taste of Lampuki pie, filleted Dorado mixed with spinach, Cauliflower, chestnuts and sultanas in shortcrust pastry. Stewed and stuffed dishes are also an important element of Maltese cuisine. Stewed rabbit cooked in wine and herbs, "bragoli", parcels of mince, chopped eggs, breadcrumbs and pastry wrapped in thin pieces of Beef, simmered very gently in gravy. Seasonal vegetables, such as aubergines, tomatoes, peppers, baby marrows and onions are very tasty stuffed with minced meats, olives and other vegetables such as garlic and fresh herbs. Seasonal salads and vegetables are an important feature of the Maltese kitchen. The best loved and most healthy dish is probably "minestra" which is vegetable soup combining numerous fresh and dried vegetables and can be served with fresh or grated "gb ejniet".

Preparation Methods for Maltese Cooking Edit

Due to the fact of fire-wood ovens in centuries past, a slow cooking method was used to prepare most Maltese dishes. Since ovens were so rare in the olden days, the Sunday dish was taken, covered with a clean tea-towel, to the communal village oven. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Malta is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Malta’s regions.

Special Equipment for Maltese Cooking Edit

Ranging from cake pans, can openers, colanders, egg rings, poachers and holders, food dishers and portioners, food pans and food containers to other kitchen utensils, such as food scales, food scoops and fryer baskets and accessories, the Malta cuisine needs a diverse cooking equipment set in order to produce the most sophisticated Malta dishes. You should consider insulated food carriers if you are transporting the food and a full set of kitchen linens and uniforms if you wish to look like a pro. Here are a few other items that will come handy while cooking Malta food: juicers, kitchen knives, kitchen slices, and kitchen thermometers, measuring cups and measuring spoons, miscellaneous utensils, mixing bowls and skimmers and strainers. Essential utensils like serving spoons, spatulas, forks, turners, scrapers and tongs should also be part of your cooking "arsenal".

Maltese Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

In Malta like in any other country are many holidays and festivals where the inhabitants prepare special and traditional dishes. One of the most special festivals is National youth day on the 21st of March, which is the first day of Maltese spring. In this day Maltese people, prepare Fenek, which is fried rabbit with red wine and is served with chips and potatoes salad. Kusku is another special dish made of fresh broad beans and couscous. This plate is a spring special soup which blesses the people with health and vigor for the rest of the year. Other important festivals are Feast of Saint Joseph, Freedom Day, Labor Day, Victory Day, Independence Day, and Christmas Day.

People in Maltese Food Edit

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There are many chefs who creatively use the basic ingredients and cooking method for traditional Malta dishes and create original and delicious food variations. Maltese chefs are passionate about their traditional dishes and they enjoy presenting them to foreigners who has never tasted them before. Whether they are cooking dishes that go back in time for centuries or brand new, modern dishes, Malta chefs take pride in what they do, and this is readily noticeable in the unforgettable taste of their cooking.

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