Malta at Christmas – What’s on the Table?

Food glorious food.   So what can you expect in terms of traditional Maltese fare at this time of year?  Well as you may expect given the strong British influence, it’s pretty much what you find on the table in Manchester or Maidestone.   Turkey, ham, brussel sprouts… you know the drill.

It wasn’t always that way.  In the past you may have been served up the smaller relation of the turkey (that’s the chicken) either in broth form or baked and surrounded with potatoes.  Pork used to be a popular option as well, and the more Italian baked macaroni made it’s appearance in many households.  Maybe it still does but I don’t know as I haven’t been invited to a Maltese family home for Christmas, Maltese families having far too much sense for such an invitation to be proffered.
A couple of traditional Maltese foodie bits and pieces have survived however, particularly the ‘Qaghqa tal-Ghasel’, or ‘Treacle Ring’ which you can find in pastizzeris and food-stalls year round.  I am not crazy about this thing, which is like an enormous pastry bracelet stuffed with sweet, sweet (too sweet) treacle.  But I usually go for the cheese-board if I’m having dessert at a restaurant so it’s probably wasted on me.  The strong Italian influence hereabouts means that panetone (chocolate covered sweetbread) is also liable to be dished out at some stage during the day.

Whether you are going to experience an olde style Maltese Christmas, an old-fashioned turkey and ham combo or a big bucket of KFC in Tokyo (apparently this is a popular thing), have a good one!

Treacle Ring