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A taste of faith: Exploring Malta’s Easter Cuisine

Malta, a Mediterranean archipelago steeped in religious tradition, offers a unique culinary experience at Easter. The island’s cuisine, intricately woven into the liturgical calendar, reveals a deep connection between faith and food. With dishes and drinks steeped in symbolism and tradition, Maltese Easter tables brim with flavors that nourish both body and soul.

A Kwareżimal, photo by Muesse – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

A Lenten prelude to Easter celebrations begins with “Kwareżimal,” a subtly spiced pastry studded with almonds and citrus zest. This Lenten treat signifies the austerity of the Lenten season leading up to Easter. As Holy Week progresses, a sense of anticipation builds for the joyous celebration of Easter Sunday.

The centerpiece of the Easter Sunday feast is often a roasted lamb, reminding guests of the sacrificial lamb of Christ. The aroma of rosemary and garlic infuses the tender meat, creating a dish that speaks of both celebration and reflection on the heart of the Easter story.

Figolla – VisitMalta, Courtesy

No Easter table is complete without figolla, an almond pastry delicately shaped into festive symbols. Rabbits, lambs, hearts and crosses are decorated with colorful icing –and perhaps even a chocolate egg. These beautiful pastries serve as both whimsical treats and reminders of the Christian story.

While sweets play a delightful role, savory dishes are equally important. The “Qagħaq tal-Appostli”, a ring-shaped bread filled with a rich mixture of spinach, anchovies, olives and mint, symbolizes the twelve apostles. The strong flavors of this unique bread are a testament to the varied, often challenging experiences of those who followed Jesus.

Traditional drinks also find a place in Maltese Easter celebrations. Imbuljuta tal-Qastan, a warm chestnut-based drink flavored with citrus and cloves, is a comforting drink often enjoyed during the cooler evenings as part of Lenten practices.

Easter in Malta is a multi-sensory experience where faith, tradition and culinary delights intertwine. Each dish and drink, steeped in centuries-old customs, tells a story of resilience, renewal and the profound joy celebrated during this sacred season. From the humble Lenten biscuit to the triumphant roast lamb, Maltese Easter cuisine reflects a deep-rooted culinary heritage born of faith and the enduring passage of time.

This post is also available in: Español Italiano

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