Off the Eatable Path: Different Cultures Put Their Role in Pasti

Off the Eatable Path: Different Cultures Put Their Role in Pasti

Available in different fillings, pastizzi is a delicious snack to enjoy

I just got back from the Maltese archipelago. Although they are only 90 kilometers from the southernmost shore of Sicily, the cuisine is a wonderful blend of all the food cultures of the former rulers and settlers, not just their Sicilian neighbours.

Along with the Romans, Moors, French, Knights of St John, Arabs, and the British, they all left remnants of their food culture on the island, which make up the diverse food culture that still exists today.

This means that thanks to the British, a lambuke pie filled with fish similar to mahi mahi can be found. Timpana (like the Italian Timpano), a baked pasta dish with ground meat, tomato sauce and cheese, can also be enjoyed, thanks to the Romans. The Arabs brought in spices, citrus fruits, dates and unflattering pastries. Maltese coffee is a great example of Arabic influence with anise and cloves soaked in the brewing method. And do not forget the delicious fried, sweet dates, maqaret, as the Arabs left behind them.

The island’s national dish is known as “rabbit soup”. This dish is often a precious family recipe, passed down through the generations and enjoyed at family celebrations. Although rabbits are not native to the Maltese Islands, they have thrived there for more than three thousand years. At one time, the Knights of St. John forbade rabbit hunting, consumption moved underground, and this contributed to the dish being a desirable luxury, and a prized dish for special occasions.

food street

I would define street food as a light food or quick meal that is easy to eat and go to. It usually has some regional significance and Malta has the perfect street food that meets all of these requirements.

Pastizzi are slightly delicious handmade pies with different fillings. The pastry is a phyllo-like Greek pastry, and the most common filling is either fresh ricotta or mashed peas with curry.

Roll out the uneven dough, add the cheese filling, then fold in the middle to distinguish it from the mashed peas. Mashed peas are folded to the side. It is baked in a wood-fired oven in a pastry restaurant. The pastry restaurant is a local, family-run shop that specializes in these delicious dishes.

These shops are open around the clock and during the day it is often where you will find neighborhood elders looking for camaraderie and snacks, along with the workers on the coffee break. In the late afternoon the crowd gets younger with students looking for a snack after school or office staff on the way home. Young children will have a lot of fun. Bittersweet, citrus soda alongside their pancakes.

There isn’t much writing about the history of pastizzi although the ricotta filling is likely via Sicilians and mashed peas via the British. We know it’s been enjoyed around the islands for an exceptionally long time as the most famous patisserie, The Crystal Palace Tea and Coffee Bar, is over 100 years old. It is located in Rabat, and has been in the same location the whole time.

I am happy to tell you that since my return from Malta, I have picked up some traditional pasties frozen ready to bake and serve from Guelph’s Dominic’s No Frills at 35 Harvard Road.

The Malta Bake Shop Ltd. , since 1978, located in Toronto, is a family-run Maltese bakery that produces many Maltese specialties. They produce both ricotta cheese and pea types of pastizzi. It’s made from scratch with no preservatives or additives according to a family recipe. Ships frozen for sale across Ontario.

Not too long ago, Toronto had the largest Maltese population outside of Malta, so it’s no surprise Little Malta in Toronto’s Junction neighborhood would supply all of us with our very own pastizzi fix.


#Eatable #Path #Cultures #Put #Role #Pasti

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *