Food and tourism tour of Malta: Malta is more (I)
A few days ago I was traveling visiting the Maltese archipelago formed by the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino within an international blogtrip called #Maltaismore. Among the bloggers attending were Italians, French, Germans, British and Spanish, who write about fashion, trends, travel, lifestyle and gastronomy. In this article I want to tell you about my vision as a gastronomic and tourist walk through Malta.
The first thing we have to do is locate this archipelago, located between Italy and Tunisia, so both its climate and its gastronomy are Mediterranean, so travelers will not notice great differences between their cuisine and the one we usually do.
What is noticeable are the influences of the countries that have exercised their control over Malta throughout history, so we find traits of Mediterranean, Arabic and British cuisine, as well as similarities with Greek and Italian cuisines for reasons neighborhood. You may remember that I told you about Maltese cuisine a long time ago when I attended a course a few months ago.
In this post, I want to tell you what the experience can be like for a traveler who comes to the islands to practice their English, to enjoy their blue waters for a few days or to visit this country steeped in history. The food markets, terraces, cafes and restaurants will delight you with the quality and freshness of the products and the good hand they have when combining spices and condiments.
If you want, I recommend that you read the experience of Sergio Parra, one of my travel companions, who recounted it in two articles in the Traveler's Diary. I will tell you about my experience from a gastronomy point of view.
Upon arriving in Malta, we headed to the capital Valletta where we would be staying at the Grand Hotel Excelsior. There, a fruit center and a bottle of Malt wine awaited us as a welcome. As we had arrived late and the hotel restaurant was already closed, we ordered some sandwiches from room service discovering that the prices were surprisingly cheap.
We had to take strength for the next day as we were going to have a very tight program to discover why Malta is more, in a very few days. The program began with a visit to the neighboring island of Comino and the small Cominoto that delimit the famous blue lake o Blue lagoon. Look at the different blues of the waters. A preciousness.
There we could spend a while contemplating the waters of the island, sunbathing and swimming for a while or practicing snorkeling, to then go to the island of Gozo, the most gastronomic of the three main ones. On the island, we went to the Ta Mena Estate restaurant, where a cooking competition would take place between bloggers of different nationalities. Afterwards, we would eat the food that we had prepared for the contest.
The judge of our contest was Chef George Borg who commissioned each group to make a dish of the local cuisine, giving us the corresponding instructions. The Italians had to prepare a kind of delicious Maltese pizza made with fresh cheese and tomato.
The French made vegetable soup, the British made a chicken stuffed with sausages, and the Germans made a salad and fruit salad for dessert. They commissioned us to make some zucchini stuffed with meat and vegetables.
The judge, who is also the author of the cookbook The Gozo TableAfter trying all the dishes, he decided that the one that was best prepared was the one that we had prepared, and he left the French team in second place. Thank goodness because I was the only food blogger, and the English had prepared a delicious chicken.
The prize for the winners was a trophy made with blown glass from Malta, the cookbook I told you about, and a box with extra virgin olive oil from Gozo, salt from its salt flats and some sun-dried tomatoes.
Do not think that we had eaten so much to stay still. As they had a lot to teach us this first day, with almost no time to rest the food, we left for the island of Comino, where we would do a mountain bike tour, then we would climb and descend (absailing) and we could practice kayaking.
All this took place in a very short time due to the tight schedule, but enough to see the possibilities that the Maltese archipelago has in terms of tourist offer. Also, with almost no time to recover, we had to return to the old city or the Citadel to enjoy a dinner (well deserved after sports) at the Ta Rikardu restaurant.
This restaurant, located in the upper part of the citadel, offers to my liking the best of local gastronomy: traditional dishes such as fresh and cured cheeses served with delicious olives and tomatoes, or rabbit and kid stews with which we recovered our strength immediately. We also tried the local beer, Cisk, a lager with a lot of body.
Exhausted after the intense day, we returned to the island of Malta on a ferry to rest and recover. The next day we would visit a fishing village and its street market, we would eat at Don Berto, we would visit the Blue Groutte, we would take a historical tour of the capital and at night we would have the party and awards ceremony. I will tell you all this in the second installment.
I hope that this first chapter of the gastronomic and tourist walk through Malta has been interesting for you, beyond the beauty of the images, and that it will be useful if you decide to travel to this very appetizing European country.