Monday, August 21

Kinnie and Ftira’s

Bonģu! Yes, I’m back from my vacation to Malta. All-tanned and well-rested. I have had a wonderful time and am already missing my days of lying on a stretcher next to the pool, just listening to some music…

When we landed on Schiphol Airport this morning, a nice welcome was already waiting for us; rain, rain, and more rain. Grey skies with dark clouds and bitter coldness. Will put you definitely right back on your feet in the real world again after a week of dreaming and relaxing under a blue sky

Malta is the perfect place for your holiday if you want to rest, sunbathe, shop a little and rest some more. It’s an idyllic little island with an ideal climate; of course hot, but not at all stifling. All the time sunshine and a lovely little breeze so you get the chance to cool off a bit.
Upon the clean streets are cute English houses, all beautiful painted, little chapels, small family restaurants, trendy bistros and souvenir shops which we happily plundered.

For the evening we drove on one of the many historic, antique yellow buses, which are by the way rejected English buses. (You really shouldn’t think of the brakes and their condition when you’re on one of the chauffeur’s bumpy, high-speed rides and see the many saint figures, presumably for blessings and good luck next to him…)
We set off to Valetta or Sliema; shopped a little and had a nice dinner on one of the cities many terraces.

I loved sitting there, watching people go by and drink some delicious, cold Kinnie. Kinnie is very popular on Malta, alcohol-free and made from bitter oranges and a variety of aromatic herbs. Really refreshing and an excellent thirst quencher.
Having a freshly baked, good-filled Maltese Ftira paired with this made it perfect. This big, round, oven-baked bread with a 20 cm diameter looks a bit like a plain, toasted focaccia but has a thick dark crust and a deliciously soft white centre which Maltese call the galba, i.e. the heart. I especially liked the scrumptious, still slightly warm, tuna-Ftira; both sides of the sliced bread were coated with tomato puree, and after this packed with tuna, Maltese capers, onion, garlic and olives. finished with a good sprinkle of olive-oil, this turned out to be a simple, very filling and very tasty sandwich.

I also succeeded to be a perfect tourist and came back with a much heavier suitcase than I had on the way there - stacked with new clothes, souvenirs and local goodies; including a jar of Maltese capers, some traditional cured cheeselets, Maltese honey made from wild thyme, nougat, the famous honey rings (qaghaq ta’ l-ghasel) which turned out a bit to dry and disappointing, and of course a bottle of Kinnie!

We as well found a little book with more than 120 authentic Maltese recipes which I’m eager to use. Leafing through, I already found the recipes for a lovely Mqaret (datecake) and Kwarezimal (Lenten almond cake) which both look very tempting and promising.
And who knows, maybe they will bring back a bit of my “good-happy- vacation-vibe” and the “gone-away-from-everything-feeling”, when school and work starts all again next week…


Anonymous said...

Hi Julia,
Nice to read you've had such a wonderful vacation.
Just stunned upon you're blog and I love it! Glad to have you back!
greetings, Maria (Rome)

stef said...

Hi Julia, was wondering if you could post more about the Kwarezimal? Have you tried the recipe? Thanks!

Anonymous said...


I'm a Maltese-er and was just looking around to see what i can fill my ftira with on google (haha what extent we go to, to have some different filling in our ftira once in a while:P- looking it up on google!!!!!) anyway .....came across your blog which made me feel even more proud to be maltese (more than i usually do)! It's nice to see tourists appreciate the little things we have here.....others don't even know we exist on the map! so it's good to read that you enjoyed and loved your stay here:)
Hope you come back and bring alot of friends with you!! MAlta needs to be advetised to the world as something extremely wonderful..cos it IS! :D

Love our little island

Anonymous said...

Nice feet! Suckable toes.

Gimmix said...

Would you like to marry me ?

Snooky doodle said...

While browsing through the net I happened to find your blog. I m Maltese I m Glad you had a nice vacation in Malta. I like to bake too and if you have any difficulties with Maltese recipe you can write to me. The e mail is in mu blog there are also some Maltese recipes. :)

Tiina said...

Hello Julia,

I perfectly agree, Malta is a lovely place. Here's my take on a recent holiday there:
(pardon my french... ;-))

I posted the link to your article, I hope you don't mind. If you do, I will or course remove it.

I'll try to find the time to read some of your other articles (I was looking for an illustration for ftiras :D)

Take care!

Jelle Houtsma said...

Hello Julia
I saw your blog about Malta and Kinnie. Just to let you know that Kinnie will be available in the Netherlands from september 1st 2011 on. is the website to keep an eye on :-)