The Maltese Diet
While in Malta, eat as the Maltese do.
Some things in life are just simple fact; the sky is blue, the grass is green and Maltese people love food. Perhaps our love for food stems from our vibrant and rich history that we share with so many different cultures, or maybe loving food is just the Mediterranean way. Whatever reason, all we know for sure is that our diet is diverse and distinct.
There are very few items off the food pyramid that the Maltese do not include in their daily diet. With fresh local produce that enables our talented cooks to make a plethora of creative and celebrated dishes, the Maltese diet is a wonder to behold.
While proteins and fruit are staple ingredients, the foundations of many Maltese dishes are built on carbohydrates. Be it pizza, pasta or pastizzi, carbs are an integral component of Maltese dishes. This is not to say that Coeliac and gluten-free diners need to worry, as most dishes are also available as gluten-free from many restaurants.
When we’re not consuming carbs, the Maltese love their fresh produce. A typical and well-loved vegetable dish is minestra, a soup that is not just nutritious, but filling too! Speaking of vegetables, fresh local produce is usually prepared as a starter or a side dish in the form of a casserole. In fact, kapunata is a classic side dish that is extremely popular. This being Malta’s interpretation of the famous French dish, ratatouille, is a tomato-based sauce that incorporates aubergines, peppers and an assortment of other vegetables.
As for our protein intake, Maltese dishes are usually based on beef, pork, chicken or fish. For instance, some local favourites would have to be bragioli, roast pork or chicken, and beautifully grilled fish. While these different types of meat are absolute staples in our diet, the Maltese also enjoy some atypical meat dishes including rabbit and horsemeat. It may seem out of the ordinary but these two dishes are renowned traditional meals, and are truly delicious in the hands of the best cooks.