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Author: Melisande Aquilina

Enjoying Ricotta!

When I look back to my memories of childhood, it is amazing how many of these have, in some way or other, links with Maltese food containing ricotta (‘irkotta’). Maltese cooks in fact use ricotta, which is a smooth creamy dairy product, to create both sweet and savoury dishes. There’s ricotta pie of course, and cheesecakes (‘pastizzi’), ricotta can be eaten as a snack or as a starter or even a main course, with Italian pasta, and in numerous desserts and pastries like kannoli or Cassatella Siciliana. Our grandmothers used to fill us up with ricotta when we were...

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Saint Martin’s Feast

‘Ġewż, lewż, qastan, tin, kemm inħobbu l’San Martin!’ (‘Walnuts, Almonds, Chestnuts, Figs, I really love Saint Martin’) This very old children’s rhyme shows the spirit and excitement pervading this Maltese traditional feast. Historically, Saint Martin’s Feast was considered to be a favourite with children because it was one of the very few times when a religious feast involved such food treats. In fact, there exist a number of traditional Maltese games involving nuts. Like ‘Boċċi’, where children used hazelnuts instead of marble balls, or ‘bunbun – mamma’, which involved the use of large marbles hitting smaller nuts. Children saved...

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Arts Festival for Children & Young People

Żigużajg, which will be celebrating its 6th edition this year, will be taking place between Friday 11th and Sunday 20th November. This year’s event will be showcasing 24 projects featuring new Maltese productions, as well as contributions from seven different countries. Eagerly awaited by children, parents, and teachers, this yearly festival continues to be at the forefront in fostering new generations of young artists. Headed by the Programme Manager, Mr Daniel Azzopardi, with major contributions by Fondazzjoni Kreattivà, the Festival team is to be commended for its professional efforts to combine art and education, with fun and entertainment. This...

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Malta Book Festival

The yearly Malta Book Festival is perhaps the most important literary event within our islands. Previously known as ‘the Book Fair’, this event was re-named a ‘Book Festival’ three years ago, in an effort to change its image from a purely commercial one, to one emphasizing a marked education and cultural content. During this event, local publishers, authors, bookstores and other entities related to the literary world have to opportunity to get under one roof and showcase their new material. It is also a great opportunity for newly published, as well as more experienced writers to relate and tackle...

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Traditional Maltese Lace

It is said that cotton in Malta was first introduced by the Arabs in around 870 A.D. Maltese women quickly became experts in weaving and dying, and during the time of the Order of the Knights of Saint John, the making of lace (‘bizzilla’) was highly-prized, especially since this craft was very popular, and demand for lace-making continued to increase. Weaving, embroidery and lace-making were encouraged, both by the Church and the local aristocracy, who loved to adorn themselves and their clothes with it. Life in Malta and Gozo was relatively harsh and craft industries became a main source...

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