The Most Popular Maltese Food: An Exquisite Culinary Delight

Choose the food you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Mar 3, 2024 06:18
Welcome to StrawPoll, your one-stop destination for settling age-old debates, sharing opinions, and discovering the world's favorites! Today, we're diving into the vibrant and mouth-watering world of Maltese cuisine with a tantalizing question: What is the most popular Maltese food? This tiny Mediterranean island is home to an incredibly diverse and delicious array of dishes, and we want YOU to help us rank them. From the classic Pastizzi to the heartwarming Kusksu; from the scrumptious Imqaret to the refreshing Ħobż biż-Żejt, we've got it all covered! So, what are you waiting for? Cast your vote now, and let your taste buds be heard! Don't see your favorite Maltese delicacy on our list? No worries! Feel free to suggest a missing option and join thousands of food enthusiasts in finding out which Maltese dish reigns supreme. Happy voting and buen appetit!

What Is the Most Popular Maltese Food?

  1. 1
    A traditional Maltese bread, often filled with tomato paste, tuna, olives, and capers. It is a popular snack or lunch option.
    The ftira is a traditional Maltese bread that is typically round in shape and has a chewy texture. It is considered a staple food in Malta and is commonly used as a base for various toppings and fillings. The ftira is often likened to a pizza base or a flatbread, and it is frequently enjoyed as a quick and satisfying snack or light meal.
    • Origin: Malta
    • Shape: Round
    • Texture: Chewy
    • Use: Base for toppings and fillings
    • Similar to: Pizza base or flatbread
  2. 2
    A pastry filled with either ricotta cheese or a mixture of peas and ricotta cheese. It is a staple snack in Malta and can be found in almost every bakery.
    Pastizzi is a popular Maltese food that consists of flaky pastry filled with either ricotta cheese or mushy peas. It is a traditional savory snack that is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
    • Origin: Malta
    • Ingredients: Flaky pastry, ricotta cheese or mushy peas
    • Shape: Typically triangular
    • Size: Usually bite-sized
    • Texture: Flaky and crispy pastry
  3. 3

    Rabbit Stew

    Maltese locals and chefs
    A hearty stew made with rabbit meat, potatoes, onions, and garlic. It is a popular main dish in Malta and is often served with crusty bread.
    Rabbit Stew is a traditional Maltese dish made from rabbit meat cooked slowly in a rich and flavorful sauce. It is considered one of the most popular and iconic dishes in Maltese cuisine.
    • Main Ingredient: Rabbit meat
    • Sauce: Rich and flavorful
    • Cooking Method: Slow-cooked
    • Spices: Typically includes garlic, onions, tomatoes, bay leaves, and various herbs
    • Flavor Profile: Deliciously savory and aromatic
  4. 4
    Thin slices of beef filled with bacon, garlic, parsley, and breadcrumbs, rolled up and cooked in a tomato sauce. It is a popular dish for Sunday lunch.
    Bragioli is a traditional Maltese dish consisting of beef olives, a combination of thinly sliced beef stuffed with a mixture of garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, and bacon. The beef is then rolled up, secured with toothpicks, and braised in a rich tomato-based sauce.
    • Main ingredients: Beef, garlic, parsley, bacon, breadcrumbs, tomato sauce
    • Cooking method: Braising
    • Serving: Hot
    • Traditionally served with: Mashed potatoes or pasta
    • Flavor profile: Savory, rich, and slightly tangy from the tomato sauce
  5. 5
    Similar to pastizzi, but smaller and filled with either ricotta cheese or spinach. They are often served as a snack or appetizer.
    Qassatat is a traditional Maltese savory pastry that is loved for its delicious filling and crispy crust. These pastries are typically small, round, and bite-sized, making them a popular snack or appetizer in Malta. They are commonly filled with a mixture of ricotta cheese and spinach or peas, but other fillings such as mushrooms, anchovies, or chicken are also common. Qassatat are often enjoyed at festivals, family gatherings, or as part of a traditional Maltese ftira sandwich.
    • Shape: Small, round
    • Size: Bite-sized
    • Filling options: Ricotta cheese and spinach/peas (common); mushrooms, anchovies, or chicken (also popular)
    • Crust: Crispy
    • Typical use: Snack or appetizer
  6. 6
    A Maltese version of ratatouille, made with eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. It is a popular side dish or vegetarian main dish.
    Kapunata is a traditional Maltese dish that can be best described as a delicious vegetable stew. It is known for its rich flavors and vibrant colors, making it a popular choice among locals and visitors alike. The creator of Kapunata is unknown, as it is a dish that has been passed down through generations in Maltese households.
    • Ingredients: Tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, garlic, aubergines, capers, olives, olive oil
    • Flavors: Savory, tangy, slightly sweet
    • Color: Vibrant, with a mix of red, green, and purple hues
    • Texture: Soft and tender vegetables in a thick, stew-like sauce
    • Preparation Method: Vegetables are sautéed in olive oil, then simmered with tomatoes and seasonings
  7. 7
    A baked rice dish made with tomato sauce, peas, and ground beef. It is a popular comfort food in Malta.
    Ross il-forn is a traditional Maltese dish that is widely popular. It is a baked rice dish consisting of layers of rice, mixed vegetables, meat (usually chicken or beef), and cheese. The dish is known for its rich flavors and hearty texture.
    • Main Ingredients: Rice, mixed vegetables, meat, cheese
    • Cooking Method: Baked
    • Typical Seasoning: Herbs, spices, tomato sauce
    • Serving Style: As a main course
    • Popular Variations: Seafood or vegetarian versions
  8. 8
    A dip made with mashed beans, garlic, and olive oil. It is often served with crusty bread as an appetizer.
    Bigilla is a traditional Maltese food, known for its rich and flavorful taste. It is a thick, creamy dip made primarily of mashed beans, particularly fava beans, mixed with various herbs and spices. Bigilla is typically enjoyed as a spread on crusty bread or served as a dip alongside other Maltese dishes.
    • Main Ingredient: Fava beans
    • Consistency: Thick and creamy
    • Flavor: Rich and flavorful
    • Herbs and spices: Garlic, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper
    • Serving style: Spread on bread or served as a dip
  9. 9
    A baked pasta dish made with macaroni, meat sauce, eggs, and cheese. It is a popular main dish for special occasions.
    Timpana is a traditional Maltese dish that consists of a baked pasta pie. It is made with macaroni pasta mixed with a combination of minced meat, tomato sauce, onions, garlic, and various herbs and spices. The mixture is then baked in a pastry crust until golden and crispy on the outside, while remaining moist and flavorful on the inside.
    • Main Ingredients: Macaroni pasta, minced meat, tomato sauce, onions, garlic, herbs, and spices
    • Preparation: The macaroni pasta is cooked al dente and mixed with a sauce made from minced meat, tomato sauce, onions, garlic, herbs, and spices. The mixture is then poured into a pastry crust and topped with another layer of pastry. It is baked until the crust turns golden brown.
    • Serving: Timpana is typically served as a main dish, either hot or at room temperature. It can be enjoyed on its own or accompanied by a fresh salad.
    • Flavor Profile: Timpana has a rich, savory taste with a hint of sweetness from the tomato sauce. The combination of herbs and spices adds depth and complexity to the overall flavor.
    • Texture: The pasta in Timpana is tender, while the crust provides a delightful crunch. The meat filling adds a slightly moist and juicy texture to the dish.
  10. 10
    Helwa tat-Tork
    Miansari66 · CC0
    A traditional Maltese sweet made with sesame seeds and honey. It is often served during Christmas and other special occasions.
    Helwa tat-Tork is a traditional Maltese sweet made primarily from sesame seeds and honey. It is a beloved dessert that has been enjoyed for centuries. The name 'Helwa tat-Tork' translates to 'Turkish sweet' in English.
    • Primary Ingredients: Sesame seeds, honey
    • Texture: Chewy and dense
    • Shape: Rectangular or diamond-shaped pieces
    • Color: Dark brown or black
    • Flavor: Rich and nutty with a hint of sweetness from honey

Missing your favorite food?


Ranking factors for popular food

  1. Traditional and cultural significance
    The dish should have a long-standing connection to Maltese culture and tradition.
  2. Popularity among locals
    The dish should be well-loved and commonly consumed by the Maltese population.
  3. Representativeness of Maltese cuisine
    The dish should represent the unique flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques characteristic of Maltese cuisine.
  4. Popularity among tourists
    The dish should also be popular and accessible to visitors, helping to promote Maltese cuisine internationally.
  5. Ingredient availability
    The dish should be made from locally-sourced and readily available ingredients.
  6. Taste and appeal
    The dish should have a universally appealing taste, making it popular among various taste preferences.
  7. Food preparation and presentation
    The dish should have a unique and distinctive way of being prepared and presented that represents Maltese culinary traditions and skills.
  8. Historical significance
    The dish might have a historical story or background that makes it particularly popular or noteworthy in Maltese cuisine.
  9. Dietary considerations
    Depending on the context of the ranking, you may want to take into account dietary restrictions like vegetarian or gluten-free options.
  10. Online reviews and rankings
    Consider user-generated reviews and rankings on popular food websites, blogs, and social media to gauge the popularity and appeal of a particular Maltese dish.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular Maltese food. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or food is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 166 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each food once every 24 hours. The rank of each food is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular maltese food

Maltese cuisine is a fascinating blend of Mediterranean and North African influences, with a unique twist that reflects the island's history and geography. As a small island nation, Malta has always been reliant on the sea, which is reflected in many of its traditional dishes. Many of the most popular Maltese foods are hearty, comforting dishes that are perfect for colder weather, although there are also plenty of lighter options that are perfect for a hot summer day. From savory pastizzi to sweet figolli, Maltese cuisine is sure to delight anyone looking for something new and exciting to try. So if you're curious about what makes Maltese food so special, be sure to check out the many delicious options available on StrawPoll!

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