Fact: Maltese people have a sweet tooth. How do we know? Just go to any confectionary and you will find an abundance of Maltese sweets ranging from Biskuttini tar-Raħal, tal-Lewż, Biskuttelli … the list is never ending, but that’s not only it. This list only takes into consideration the sweets that you can find all year round, but for every month or season, we have a special type of sweet that not only keeps our sugar cravings at bay, but gives us a variety to keep things exciting. Let’s take a look at what our options are for the first few months of the year.
You have finally managed to get rid of the insane amounts of left-over holiday sweets that have been taking up most of your kitchen cabinet space. Now it’s time to get back on the fitness track and lose that extra weight you’ve gained… or so you think. Come February, a mound of cake topped with cream, chocolate and cherries (as if the fruit will make it any healthier), will frequent shops and inevitably, your home. It’s insanely sweet, and there is a risk of diabetes with every bite. Is it worth it? Definitely.
Sfineġ ta’ San Ġużepp
Ok, you’ve caught us. Technically speaking, this “Maltese” delicacy was not entirely our idea; we stole it from the Sicilians and made it our own. On the 19th of March, our day off work is made ten times better thanks to these sweetened ricotta and almond filled deep fried pastries. Never tried them? We can assure you that they taste just as amazing as they sound.
Before Easter, many Maltese citizens undergo a 40-day period of lent, where most abstain from eating any kind of sweets. Most do it for religious reasons, but some are so tired of eating sweets in the first three months of the year that a break is well needed; at least for the first few days. The love that the Maltese have for sweets is so real, that it is of no surprise that we have also managed to find a loop hole in this month or so of sacrifice. The Kwareżimal, a sugar less almond delicacy, was initially made without sugar. Nowadays, buying them from shops doesn’t give you that guarantee. Given that ‘40 days of no sweets’ and ‘the Maltese population’ are an oxymoron, we’re not surprised that the Kwareżimal is one of the tastiest almond based desserts we’ve produced.
What better way of celebrating one of the biggest religious feasts on the island than by stuffing your face in the culmination of traditional Maltese sweets? Figolli, which come at a hefty tag of 2,000 kcal each, are supposed to be eaten after 40 days of penance, but who are we kidding right? Nowadays, figolli season starts at around day 20 of lent and extends itself to 20 days after it’s over, giving us over a month of figolli goodness to enjoy. The only thing complaining here is our waistline, other than that, it’s all good.
© 2017 – VIDA Magazine – Thea Formosa