The Republic of Malta is a southern European island in the Mediterranean Sea. At turns it has been under the rule of the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, Knights of St. John, French and British and the confluence of these cultures makes for a vibrant country that feels at times familiar and at others beautifully different.
The stunningly beautiful capital city Valletta is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site with buildings dating from the 16th Century. While I was there it was Pride Week -not just a day – but a week marked with concerts and parades. There is marriage equality in Malta and Malta recently topped the list of countries offering the best rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in Europe. Malta was absolute bliss and the people were warm and welcoming.
The food is a delicious mix of Malta’s roots. Maltese moussaka, unlike the traditional Greek moussaka, is not covered with a bechamel and is made solely of seasoned ground meat filling the eggplant. I had the dish at a local restaurant Angelina’s which folks on Trip Advisor seem to overwhelmingly hate but I enjoyed. If you’d like to try the recipe at home check out Ramandalicious’ recipe.