Malta’s Culinary Delights

ES guest writer Faith has some expert advice on what and where to eat in the beautiful Mediterranean country of Malta. Start planning your vacation now…

Stone Crab - Xlendi Bay, Island of Gozo

Maltese cuisine has Arabic, Sicilian, French, Turkish, Greek and British influences, stemming from a history full of invasions and occupations, making it a culinary concoction just waiting to be discovered. Surrounded by the clear Mediterranean Sea, Malta has a wide range of fresh seafood to enjoy in a traditional Lampuki fish pie, or simply barbequed alfresco style. Rabbit stew is the national dish – traditional and hearty. Whether you prefer surf, turf, or something in between, Malta is definitely a culinary destination.

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Alert Isaac Newton: Gravity-Defying Apple Found in Cleveland

I’m a 1950s housewife these days. I’m writing (unemployed-ish) and therefore find my schedule fairly flexible. Bennett signed up for a work training in Cleveland, but since he would finish by 4pm and we have our friend Heather living there now, I decided to jump along for the Midwestern vacation. I know that’s what my grandmother (housewife) would do when my grandfather traveled for work.

On vacation I rarely think about choosing healthy foods. Fuck it, right? I’m on vacation. But my aunt said something during last Thanksgiving that (unfortunately?) stuck with me. It’s easy to think of a special reason to turn to treats—birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, holidays, break-ups, fights, good days, bad days—so soon every day there can be an explanation to eat dessert or go for that second helping.

So for my second lunch in Cleveland, where the first screamed indulgence, I chose a light dish at Lucky’s Cafe. Something I could be proud of: yogurt with berries and house-made granola. Heather oozed with excitement after I placed the order and my worries of a boring meal on vacation soon diminished. (Heather, by the way, keeps an eating-in-Cleveland blog.)

We sat outside on a wooden picnic table, under an umbrella and next to the restaurant’s large garden.

Then the yogurt came and holy shit.

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Oyster and Banana Runts Ravioli?

protein shake

One of my favorite dinner games is opening the refrigerator and playing Chopped. Hey, I can pretend. I just love to play with food combinations. Of course, most of them usually taste damn yummy (to me…ahem). But every once in a while one of my bright ideas will be absolutely disgusting and inedible.  Enter bologna, cream cheese, and pickle rolls. Sautéed Brussels sprouts topped with a sunny side up egg and sriracha. Bisquick + milk + bowl + microwave + grape jam + syrup + butter.  A coffee mug + chocolate cake mix + peanut butter + whipping cream. Tortilla + Kraft singles + cucumbers + barbecue sauce. Soup is one of my favorite things to make, especially in the fall and winter. And following recipes, like a lot of things in my life, is just not acceptable. Why not put the cornbread IN the chili? How about jalapeño poppers in potato soup? (Turns out it doesn’t work too well.) Who would make a chocolate chip cookie stew? Um, yeah. It is a wondrous feat of nature that I don’t weigh 500 lbs.

This got me thinking — which food combination might be the most amazingly disgusting on the planet? I have a few below that would be excitingly terrible, and I would like to know yours, oh fearless ESers. C’mon, give me something really gross. If you’ve made it, great. If you’ve only dreamed of making it, it still counts. Here are mine:

  • Roasted Garlic Peach Crumble
  • Mint and Orange Egg Casserole
  • Cheese Whiz Lime Sorbet
  • Ground Beef and Mint Chip Ice Cream
  • Strawberry Peanut Butter Daquiri
  • Big Red Gum Guacamole
  • Black Licorice Linguini with Ketchup Mushroom Ragu
  • Nutella Pickle Relish
  • Oyster and Banana Runts Ravioli
  • Broccoli Sea Urchin Maple Scones
  • Grapefruit Junior Mints Protein Shake with Mustard Cottage Cheese Whipped Topping
  • Durian Fruit and Shallot Smoothie (if you haven’t tried durian fruit, please go buy one immediately)