With the dinner break less than four hours away, this seems like an appropriate moment to reflect on the real reason we’ve all come to Malta – the food. Players will no doubt be focused at this crucial time on their dining options. Here are a few of the local delicacies that they may or may not be contemplating:
We are surrounded by sea, so it’s no surprise that Maltese cuisine is heavy on the fish. This classic local delicacy is a pie made of the mahi-mahi, known as lampuki in the Maltese language, along with various vegetables, sultanas and tomato puree, all topped with flaky pastry.
Often described as the national dish of Malta, this is a delectable stew of rabbit with vegetables, wine and the ever-present tomato puree. Rabbit is surprisingly popular here, and it is believed that this popularity may date back to hunting restrictions placed on the people by the Knights of St John; catching rabbits and putting them in pies may have been a symbolic form of resistance to this. Either way, the furry little critters are delicious.
We’re right next to Sicily, so similarities between the two islands’ cuisines are to be expected. Kannoli bear a striking resemblance to Sicilian cannoli – crispy pastry shells stuffed with ricotta cheese and various sugary goodies.
Malta boasts a perfect climate for raising grape vines, and, as everyone knows, the only good thing you can do with a grape is squish the juice out of it, let it ferment, and then serve it with cheese and crackers. Varieties of grape cultivated on the island include cabernet sauvignon, merlot and chardonnay – something for everyone there. Many of the local vineyards offer guided tours and events charmingly described as “tastings”.