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Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Taste of Malta

George Pandi writes for Canada's Montreal Gazette:

The arrival in the Maltese capital, Valletta, bombards the senses. Outside the town gate spreads a plaza where the intercity buses stop. The owner-drivers have adopted the custom of the fishermen who make their boats visible with bright colours: Every inch of their 1950s vintage Bedford buses is painted and chromed to blind you. The second attack is on your ears as a hundred Mediterraneans meet and greet while those big Bedfords rev their engines. Then comes the smell of frying oil from the circle of snack wagons.

I got off the bus, followed my nose to a wagon, pointed at two unfamiliar fried pastries. The first one, qassata, was a mistake. It looked like an Indian samosa and was stuffed with peas but lacked any taste. My second choice, though, imqaret, an anise-flavoured packet with date filling - a kind of date Newton - was addictively good.

I went out my first evening in Valletta to find a simple restaurant where I could explore the local cuisine. Dream on! I got cardboard fish with limp chips. Next to me, a sad man ate soggy pasta in tomato sauce with the same limp chips. Travellers on a meagre budget seem get the British culinary heritage; moneyed tourists go to elegant restaurants for world cuisine at high prices. In between there should be middle-class, home-style Maltese food, but for tourists it's hard to find..

Blogger koncetta said...

Ma tantx ghadek issib ikel tipiku Malti ta' kwalita. Nipprova nsib xi qassata bit-toghma bnina li kellhom qabel imma difficli. U xi nghidu ghall-helu? Tipo qaghaq ta' l-ghasel. Il-mili m'ghadux bhal ta' qabel :( 

Saturday, March 19, 2005 7:10:00 PM
Blogger Roderick Mallia said...

Hehe imbgħad noqgħodu neqirdu għax it-turist ma jiġix l'hawn. Mhux ovvja! Għall-prezz li qed iħallsu biex jiġu Malta t-turisti x'qed jieħdu lura? Servizz degradanti, arroganza, xebgħa dagħha u attentati ta' truffa mingħand il-bejjiegħa u x-xuffiera, u sens ta' traskuraġni u telqa akuta li l-Malti biss jaf jagħti b'impekkabilita' assoluta. Lanqas nafu nieħdu ħsieb tagħna u napprezzaw li għandna, aħseb u ara kemm ħa nagħtu lit-turist dak li jkun qed jippretendi waqt vaganza.

Koncetta: L-itjeb qassatat huma dawk li tagħmel int id-dar għax dawk żgur ikunu friski u b'ingredjenti ġenwini. 

Saturday, March 19, 2005 10:26:00 PM
Blogger Robert Micallef said...

Koncetta, veru li iktar ma jghaddi z-zmien il-kwalita' qed issir iktar skarsa u rari - mhux biss fl-ikel izda ukoll f'diversi servizzi. L-ikel Malti donnu barrani f'pajjizna stess - trid tithabat biex issibu (meta jirnexxilek)

Roderick, li jiddeterjoraw is-servizzi hu ta' dannu kemm ghat-turisti kif ukoll ghar-residenti. Naqbel mieghek li Malta waqghet lura fl-'istandards' ta'servizzi, ambjent etc.. pajjizi ohra kompetituri investew hafna u qed jaqbzuna. Bhas-soltu, nibdew niccaqalqu meta jkun tard wisq. 

Sunday, March 20, 2005 2:12:00 AM

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