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Odd or not? 5 dishes that scream Malta! 🇲🇹

Odd or not? 5 dishes that scream Malta! 🇲🇹

Malta might be just a tiny island in the Mediterranean, but it is definitely rich in history and recipes! The Maltese are known for their big appetite, amongst many other things, and although Maltese cuisine is inspired by other international ones, it is definitely unique. 

Some of the delicious local dishes may be considered bizarre by the non-Maltese folks, but to the locals, they are the go-to comfort food. Let’s have a look at the top 5 delicacies that are unique to these islands:


Maltese snails stewed and served on toasted maltese bread

Traditional bebbux served with maltese bread | From:

Slimy yet delicious, bebbux is a bowl of snails slowly cooked in tomato sauce (typically polpa), onions and garlic, amongst other ingredients. Usually, this dish can be found served as an appetizer in a local kazin (a band club), but it can easily be done at home. 🐌

The texture of the snails is soft but also slightly gummy and this dish is similar to a stew, but it does not contain so much liquid. The cooking process may take a while, but the wait is totally worth it!


A stew made out of the stomach of farm animals in a tomato like broth with potatoes and other vegetables

Kirxa in spicy tomato sauce. | From:

This might be one of the weirdest dishes on the island, but it could also be one of the heartiest Maltese meals you'll ever taste.

Kirxa (tripe) is basically a stew made out of the stomach of a cow, pig, or sheep. Just like snails, you are most likely to find tripe in a kazin or as a meal at home, served with rice. The texture could be very tender if cooked right, but if not, you’ll end up feeling like you’re chewing on rubber. 🍲

Laħam taz-Ziemel

Horse meat covered with a gravy along with peas and carrots

Traditional horse meat covered in gravy. | From:

We’ve all heard of companies being fined for using horse meat in their products, but in Malta, horse meat is basically part of Maltese food culture. 🇲🇹

And guess what? Horse meat is also cooked as a stew! It is usually found in Maltese restaurants and it has a taste like no other. After being marinated, horse meat is simmered in tomato sauce, together with carrots, peas, potatoes, herbs and spices - sometimes for up to 6 hours. It can be served alone or with a side of your choice.


This is yet another type of meat. Fenek (rabbit) can be served in three different ways: with spaghetti, pan-fried with garlic, or - yes, you guessed it - as a stew. Although rabbit is commonly kept as a pet around the world, in Malta it is one of the most delicious traditional dishes on the island. 🐇

Fenek is typically found in the same places that horse meat is found, and although it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is one of the most loved meals in Malta.


Maltese bigilla traditionally made with tic beans, crushed into a paste and traditionally eaten with water crackers, locally know as galletti

Homemade bigilla by Marlene Zammit. | From:

By now you should have realised that the Maltese love meat, but don’t worry, we have saved the best for last! Bigilla is a bean paste that can be found all around the Maltese islands - at home, in restaurants, at supermarkets, in get-togethers - there is even a van that drives around Malta selling freshly made bigilla

Bigilla is made from tic beans, garlic, olive oil, and fresh parsley. After soaking in water overnight, the beans are boiled until softened. Once cooked, the beans are processed together with the rest of the ingredients and served with galletti (water biscuits). This paste is unique to the Maltese islands and will leave you dreaming about it for days! 🤤

Do you like Maltese cuisine ?

And that’s it! There is obviously an endless list of other Maltese dishes that will tickle your taste buds, but these are probably the most popular. Which weird Maltese dish do you think would be your favourite? Get cooking and don’t forget to tag for all your culinary adventures.

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