Time for Malta’s sister isle to shine in the gastronomic spotlight.
1. The Gozitan ftira
Legendary across the archipelago, the Gozitan ftira, or traditional pizza, is true sin, and perfect for days when you just want to forget about the waistline. Using bread dough as the base, and topped with potato (yes, that’s carbs on carbs), the ftira is also flavoured with local zest – try one with tuna and anchovies for an authentic taste of the island. And another plus? It’ll keep you full for hours. Well, until the cravings start again.
2. Fresh produce and antipasti
Gozo is known for its bucolic landscapes and salt-of-the-earth lifestyle. And this is reflected in its food. Olives, capers, sundried tomatoes, basil, and mint are frequently served in platters with local cheese and smoked sausage. No need for cutlery: these are best scooped up in a fresh hobza (loaf) and picked up with your fingers. Add some homemade jam and drink a shot of herbal liqueur to complete your meal.
3. Fresh fish
This may not be surprising (Gozo being an island and all), but fresh fish is easily available and provides a healthy, Mediterranean alternative to more meat-based dishes. Tuna, swordfish and lampuki (dorado) are staples, especially when baked in the oven or pan fried with lashings of olive oil and garlic.
4. Bread, cheese and olive oil
Simple is often best and there’s nothing better than a meal of hobz with Gozitan gbejniet (sheep or goat cheeselets). There are two varieties: melt-in-your-mouth soft or tangy hard with a peppery infusion. And, finish that off with prized Gozitan extra virgin olive oil, a fruity pale ingredient which takes your meal from great to outstanding.
5. Cheese or pumpkin pie
Crumbly puff pastry pies are popular any time of year, but spring is the time in which they really come into their own. Pumpkin or cheeselet pie, made out of the traditional sheep or goat’s cheese, are made and sold by the bucket load. You’ll be able to find these in most restaurants and snack bars – just try a different slice every day!