I thought I’d treat you to a little food porn this Wednesday with a taste of Maltese cuisine. On my recent trip there, I was lucky enough to be cooked for by Matty Cremona, a Maltese food historian, who is also a talented chef. She and her husband Sam (also known as “The Godfather of Maltese Olive Oil”) have a small olive farm in the hills of Wardija and we were invited there for lunch. It was a wonderful introduction to the vegetarian possibilities of Maltese cuisine, which is normally quite fishy what with Malta being an island. Everything Matty cooked used fresh produce from the island. She prides herself on local cuisine. And of course, the olive oil took centre stage. Here is what we ate including the fabulous breads in the photo above. One is a Maltese loaf, another is stuffed with olives, and the biggest is pull-apart pesto bread.
Stuffed artichokes with capers and breadcrumbs.
Perfectly grilled aubergine.
Beetroot and ricotta.
A traditional Maltese tart with pea and ricotta.
Gorgeous fresh herbed tomatoes.
A fabulous chocolate orange tart for dessert.
And an espresso accompanied by home-made bramble liquer for dessert. Delicious!
After our meal, Matty took us out to the orangery and sent us on our way with fresh oranges in hand. Doesn’t freshly-picked produce always taste better?
The food was indeed as good as it looks and if you’re ever able to visit the Cremona farm, I highly recommend it. The olive oil is worth it alone. Sam and Matty are also a fascinating pair. It was Sam who spearheaded a campaign to bring indigenous olives back to Malta (prior to 1997 most oil produced there was known as “Italian oil produced in Malta”), and Matty has written several books including The Way We Ate: Memories of Maltese Meals. The farm offers tours, tastings and lunch for small groups by appointment only. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was invited to Malta by the Blog Island Malta campaign. I was free to write what I wished and all opinions are of course my own. The campaign was created by the people at iambassador in partnership with the Malta Tourism Authority and the support of Air Malta. Thanks for inviting me to the fairytale land!