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Malta: Mediterranean Recipes from the Islands

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by Simon Bajada
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A fabled crossroads of the Mediterranean, Malta, an archipelago of which only three islands are inhabited, has combined the influences of many cultures over the millennia, from neolithic tribes to Phoenicians, Arabs, Normans, and the English. Its closest neighbors are Tunisia and Italy.

Simon Bajada, born and raised in Australia in a family descended from Maltese immigrants, happily explores the many overlapping culinary influences in Malta, noting the occasional ingredient dissonance but paying greater attention to combinations which practical Maltese cooks have developed through the centuries. For example:

  • Pastizzi: a baked savory dumpling filled either with ricotta or peas seasoned with tomatoes and spices
  • Qaenit bit-twem: a cold octopus salad dressed with herbs and olive oil
  • Majjal fil-forn: pork braised with zucchini and fennel seeds
  • Prinjolata: a celebration cake flavored with pine nuts and almonds, decorated with meringue, dark chocolate, more nuts, and candied cherries

There’s nothing earth-shatteringly surprising here, but there are many good ideas, especially for cooks looking to renovate their Mediterranean-style repertoire.

Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.

Published: July 18, 2023

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