Some 60 miles south-west from Sicily lies a group of isles, the Republic of Malta with its 400,000 citizens, politically independent since 1964.
So close to Italy you´d expect Italian food on the tables of the restaurants and at home but this is only one chapter of the whole story. Other neighbours also left perceptible influences - mostly Greek, French, British and North African. So here it is, an ultimate attractive fusion of the various cuisines surrounding the Mediterranean sea.
Small tastes beautiful
What separates a Maltese chef from the rest of Europe is his strong interest in home grown produce. In the mild climate - lately, "International Living" chose Malta as the country with the best climate in the world - a tremendous wealth of different vegetables, lettuces and fruits flourishes on Malta's own fields. Zucchini, artichokes, big beans, cauliflowers, tomatoes and so on, as well as peaches, lemons, oranges and various berries.
It's a dreamland for fresh food devotees and if you want to enjoy the luxury of it prepare yourself the Maltese version of Ratatouille, called Kapunata. It can be served as a stew or as a sauce, along with fish or grilled meat. The Braun Multiquick 5 chopper will help you to convert it properly.
The invention of slow food
One thing never grew enough on Malta: fire-wood. In past centuries this led to energy saving methods and the invention of slow food, meaning that you have to wait some time when you're hungry. Actually, until today a traditional Maltese dish will simmer for hours on low heat.
"Ross fil-forn", that is oven-baked rice, with minced meat and tomato sauce, is typical, although one could accelerate the process by using the powerful Braun Multiquick 5 chopper to mince the meat.
Get the spirit
You'll easily find lots of interesting recipes of Maltese cuisine, but what you have to add is the spirit - the attention to fresh vegetables and to the versatility of the different types of fish, the value of cooking without any time-pressure in a mood of relaxation, the sensible attractions of fusing the culinary traditions of southern Europe with North-Africa.
Enjoy the process of cooking and you will enjoy eating.