maltese bread

maltese bread is good
it's the type of good
that is both wholesome, yet tasty, yet somehow plain in a good way

the best thing since sliced bread
i m not a big fan of sliced bread

i d rather slice bread myself

of course its good for making toast
but eating haphazard slices of bread out of a maltese loaf adds a lot to the body and texture of this maltese tasty-staple-delicacy

i dare you to say "maltese tasty-staple-delicacy" ten times!

there is an art to cutting slices out of a maltese loaf
i could never quite become adept to this whole ordeal

my father infact still cuts bread for me and the rest of the family
not by our request
but by his lifetime accrued benchmark,
his ingrained passed-down standard
of how a loaf of bread should be cut

you would think it is all about consecutive slices
but it isn't

due to the nature of the larger mid section of the somewhat spherical loaf
my father is very strict about how once you arrive to the larger cros-section
when the middle is still a few slices away
the cut switches perpendicularly into the side of the remaining loaf
and this zig-zagging of cuts continues depending on the residual-shape of the loaf at hand

i never bothered with these exacting processes
but i understand why it must be so
somehow it does work
it reduces sharp edges
it reduces the mushing and mashing of the core
and results in semi equal slices of bread
which are more pleasant to eat than when i try to do it

i had a dream this morning
that i was sampling maltese bread from around mosta
and that i could feel that warm taste of fresh bread melting with kunserva and olive oil on my mouth

i woke up craving bread
but since my nutritionist has made it clear that i need to keep a better sense of structure in my diet
i suffered... breadless till lunch

and although i had a mix of crunchy nut and all bran for breakfast
and a 10 o clock grape snack
i was thinking of that sumptuous bread all morning

i then also needed batteries for this thing i was doing and so i went out circa 11 o'clock anti meridian to buy bread and batteries
the staple groceries of the 21st century' s man

when i got to the grocer shop
i realised that i had rechargeable batteries at home
and i could use those
and well the grocer had no bread at all
save for some buns and that not so great pre-packed sliced bread
so out of being stuck there
i bought kunserva
the one packaged like a toothpaste tube

so instead i had to walk the ten minute walk to the bakery
down the road from my house

i got there grabbed a loaf
and the baker said
"those down there just came out"
as he pointed to the end of a large wooden tray
the bread was still warm
the place smelled like heaven

it was very fortunate that the baker did not have any plastic bags for me
so i walked all the way home with the bread in my hand
this made me resort to a childhood repressed mania to pluck out pieces of fresh fluffy white core from the opening in the crust that maltese loaves have
and i massacred the poor thing by the time i arrived

then i took the above picture
and proceeded to eat my calorie-planned lunch of maltese bread with kunserva and some veggies

despite that the loaf was mine by right and acquisition
after the photo-taking i cleaned the misshapen parts
since if my father had to come home and see what i had done
it would still have resulted in a lot of bickering about egoism and sacrilege


peppered watermelon

it could be a name of a new band
but it isn't
its just what it sounds like it is
and it's great

i was cooking some vegetables and sprayed some bbq sauce-spray over them
i must have sprayed a bit on my fingers
since then i proceeded to eat some refrigerated sweet-sweet watermelon
and on the first bite i tasted a peppery aftertaste
probably that bbq sauce had something like pepper in it
and i must have smothered it on the piece of watermelon i was about to eat

so that is where i ran out in the streets

what i did was i showered the watermelon with fine ground black pepper and
the result was astounding
who ever would have thought...
well maybe some did
but i know that i have
and have tried it
and lived to blog about it
and its good


ok from what i gather from google it has not been tried like this before
so i can claim this recipe as mine!!!


darnity damn!

the combination is a subtle one
and must be enjoyed on a clean palate (as in clean mouth, not clean plate with a typo)
the pepper as the king of spices and the sweet watermelon as the queen of summer fruits
make this remarkable royal marriage
and fine

i heartily suggest this to you

remember you will need finely ground pepper not fresh from the pepper mill
and cold refrigerated sweet watermelon
and experiment with the amount of pepper that you add

the spicy pepper contrast fits nicely with the cold sweetness of the melon
and the dryness of the spice with the watery-fleshiness of the fruit
make it a well enjoyed deja-vu kind of experience
familiar yet new

this sorta things makes me chuckle like a little boy
i hope it does that to you


Another Comeback Attempt

i m sorry i have not kept my promise on writing more about dieting
and also for not writing at all about food
yet i now plan another comeback
writing more regularly et cetera

as you might deduce
i m not really that sorry
as i was having a blast living my wonderful wonderful life

as a starter
or appetizer i will indulge in showing you something different today
something beautiful
something astounding
something rather arcane in the gastronomical realms

Cita (pronounced cheetah) is truly a remarkable fellow
they say that not even nuclear bombs will kill cockroaches
yet this guy's grinding teeth do a hell of a job
i hope you found that as exquisite as i did

yours culinarily


dieting - part 1

my appreciation towards food
is the culprit to why i classify as obese in those medical body-weight charts

this appreciation also stems from a mighty psycho-somatic compulsion to overeat
which has thoroughly been nurtured by years of junk food nutrition and refrigerator abuse

i realise this predicament most heartily when i diet

whenever the subject comes up in everyday conversation
most people seem to know the answer to why i m fat
what i should do
how i should do it
and most of all
of how easy it is

i have dieted a lot and i have also read a lot on the subject
to know most of what there is to know when it comes to sane weight loss
and muscle gain and all the fitness industry mumbo jumbo

at this point in my life i m going on a regimen which i have tried before
and i hope to write about this later on
especially if i do get significant results
i also plan to reassess some diets i have been on before
which is pretty much most diets out there
and review them accordingly

as a antipasto
on this series
i want to start by saying that
if i had to boil down all the literature i ve read so far
the two basic elements of any successful path to weight loss
would be

eat less and
excercise more

perseverance of the dieter
rather than the
effectiveness of the diet

it is this simple

although there are many factors which are to blame for the obesity epidemic that the richer part of the world is facing
the encompassing problem is one of excessive food coupled with sedentary lives and the lack of success and endurance in fat people towards acquiring healthier lifestyles

of course all this basic and elemental knowledge goes out the window
once one is confronted with the luring delectable and gratifying option of a high calorie comfort food

this is precisely what the fitness and nutrition industry has been built on and what it continues to hone on
to up their profit margins

the following three clips illustrate better the matter at hand:


Lulu ... Paceville

i seem to have gotten the habit of writing in here
only when i eat great meals
or positive meals

i ll make it a point to find a place i want to trash next time

but no not this time
yes folks
this is another positive review

the owner and/or manager at lulu is a nice chap to begin with
sense of humour
and as far as our party was concerned
we were taken care of directly by him

my starter was a salad
main element being parma ham and figs
the rest was lettuce and/or rucola
batheing in a delicious aceto

first course went swimmingly

the other people at my table had garganelli with duck and orange sauce
which was very exquisite
then someone took a fresh gbejna fried in an almond crust
thats it i think

main course some of us ordered venison
which apparently had to be cooked rare
however when it came it was quite brown
and i felt like it would have tasted much better had it been cooked as it was listed
one guy
took black angus steak

i finished the last morsels off for him
tisk tisk
and these stolen morsels were truly the highlight of the meal
i doubt if i have ever eaten better steak

so if there is something
i do recommend
is this black angus argentine beef thing
however it was an unlisted special
probably depends on seasonal availability

till next time...


Karnival tan-Nadur

the nadur carnival in malta
can be one of the best experiences
i dressed up as an alien
specifically a bith from the star wars saga
biths are found playing clarinet-like instruments in cantinas
except my costume also had angel wings

that was saturday
i prepared this itsy bitsy teensy weensy elaborate meal
for the people staying at the farmhouse i was at


which means ("and so...")

first course included:

foie gras topped with an apple sauce
a cutlet of medium rare tandoori ostrich
cherries parcelled in bacon strips
and oven cooked glazed onions

main course contained:

a larger than usual bragiolu (in english this has been given the inapproriate title of "stuffed beef olive") with asparagus
a sautee of potato wedges cooked in reduced lamb stock
an undercooked tomato filled with beef salmon egg and chestnuts
and a lettuce salad


dark chocolate cheesecake
with biscuit base and fresh fruit

i will not go on about how good this was
but i must say that those who had the joy to sample my creations seemed to agree:
having me as a friend reaps its benefits


Ali Baba - Gzira

i first heard of Ali Baba
when i once was looking to buy myself a shisha (hookah)
these are big water bongs for flavoured tobacco
and are used throughout the arab world

about four years ago
nobody had these things available
now every bar with a smoking section boasts a collection of flavoured tobbaccos and a shisha
but ali baba was probably the sole supplier of the stuff

this place in gzira is a very unassuming restaurant
an ugly rothmans sponsored sign sports the name
wooden planks pave the inside walls which give it a very distinctive 70's look
it looks more like a place where you get a tea and a hobza biz-zejt rather than a restaurant
but apparently what goes for books and their covers
goes for restaurants and their food

i recommend ignoring the facade and interior decor
although i adamantly believe in food presentation
and in the marriage of all the senses where possible
i think it is easy to forego the packaging the place offers
as the food can move you to tears

much like the cave from the arabian nights tale
ali baba's restaurant reserves astounding culinary treasures

the place is small yet it is extremely delightful
run by a lebanese family
the elderly bartender and shisha tobacconist father
and the chef son

we were greeted at once
by the chef himself
who was also responsible for serving our meals
this guy comes off as being rather erudite in the ways of the kitchen

we chose a lebanese wine from a list
but left the food choices to the chef himself

serving after serving of delicious items came out of his humble kitchen
from humus to cheese dips to raw marinated mutton to lamb brains

the little banquet was concluded with a dessert of helwa tat-tork (halva)
baccalava pie
some coffee
and on the house lebanese liqueur

ali baba's in gzira is unpretentious
and offers the unexpected
by any culinary standard

yours gastronomically


Lord Nelson - Mosta -=[Prawn and Coconut Soup]=-

without further ado
i must say
that the Lord Nelson restaurant in mosta is one of the best places to eat in the whole of malta
i haven't been to every restaurant of course but i am sure that it is
it must

i know i didn't ado much
infact i didn't ado much at all
i opened with
because i have been wanting to go there for some time now
but i never had the occasion or the pleasure

first course: prawn and coconut soup
main course: grilled salmon with banana and garam masala
dessert: a walnut and dark chocolate torte with mincemeat ice-cream (as in christmas mince-pie stuffing)

as usual i chose my order carefully and i was extremely pleased with what i was served

i remember a time when the Lord Nelson was a nice bar where you could order food and snacks much like other bars in mosta yet they served superior quality food
in the sense that one could order a simple ravioli or spaghetti, or a ftira or a burger with chips
but i remember that their stuff was excellent
in comparison to the others in mosta centre

there's a missing story here somewhere
of it's transition into the high end restaurant it is now
whatever that story may be
the transition was almost cool a move as when man evolved from the apes

well i mean at least in the evolutionary history of the building itself
i m sure that the metaphor holds

there exist soups which although good and tasty, make you want to stay away from soup for
very long
probably due to their normality and lack of intrigue

why yes! intrigue from soup
i expect varieties of wide ended spectra of sensory results from my food

then there are soups that are great soups
the kind only your grandmother makes
or a grandmother of a friend

then there are soups which cease to exist as soups and become something else
much like the chocolate cake that makes that girl orgasm in one of the matrix sequels
this soup belongs to such category

that was only the start of the meal

the other two entrees were, of course, divine