Food & drink
5 reasons why pizza is OBVIOUSLY a traditional Maltese food
Maltese pizza evidently stands in a class of its own

Melanie Drury

Anyone will swear that pizza is Italian food, but any Italian visiting Malta will look upon the Maltese pizza with an intended curiosity. Because, while the Italian pizza and the Maltese pizza are essentially the same in principle, in fact, the Maltese pizza is rather unique. Here’s why the Maltese pizza can be considered a local, if not a traditional food.

1. Maltese pizzas are rich in toppings

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I’m not kidding - you can have up to ten different ingredients on a single pizza in Malta. Tomatoes, mozzarella, Maltese sausage, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, olives, capers, gbejna and boiled eggs, for example. That’s waaay more than on any pizza you'll ever find in Italy, where, traditionally, pizza comes with tomatoes, mozzarella and a single other ingredient, maximum two. It’s actually funny to see the expressions on their faces when Italians see a Maltese pizza menu for the first time.

2. The traditional Gozo ftira is basically a pizza

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One of the most iconic traditional foods of the Maltese Islands is the Gozo ftira. Consisting of a layer of bread dough covered with thinly sliced fresh tomatoes, onions, potatoes and a variety of Mediterranean ingredients, it is basically the rawest form of pizza imaginable. Cooked in a wood oven at the bakery, this is indeed a special local delicacy.

3. You find it at the pastizzi shop

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With several decades of presence at the local pastizzeriji, pizza is officially a traditional Maltese street food. Pizza olives, to be precise, although the mushrooms version emerged soon after, and then the sausage and egg version and others. This basically consists of a square of thick pizza dough with a simple topping and ultimately confirms the place of pizza as a traditional local food. It costs about 1.20 Euro a piece (nobody can possibly starve in Malta thanks to the local pizza!).

4. Every other restaurant serves pizza

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The most common style of restaurant in Malta is a Pizza, Pasta & Grill and even a beach kiosk might make you a pizza. There are way more food establishments serving pizza on their menu than any other local dishes. Admittedly, not all are excellent. But, surprisingly, many are. Some of Malta’s pizzerias make a pizza (Maltese-Italian style) to die for.

5. It's a local 'thing'

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Pizza is not only widely available, it is widely enjoyed regularly by the local population. ‘Going out for a pizza’ is a 'thing'. And if the locals are doing it, it’s a local thing.

Italian...Maltese…who cares? The pizza has evidently entered the Maltese cuisine and been given a local twist that makes its flavour quite unique and…Maltese. Do you need any more convincing that pizza is a traditional Maltese food?


Melanie Drury
Written by
Melanie Drury
Melanie was born and raised in Malta and has spent a large chunk of her life travelling solo around the world. Back on the island with a new outlook, she realised just how much wealth her little island home possesses.

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