I’m kidding, I’m not “on” any Mediterranean diet. If you look at Wikipedia, you can read that this is one of the healthy eating options. It is based on traditional dishes of France, Spain, Greece, Italy, Cyprus. Malta, too. Well, really, imagine olive oil, fresh cheeses, fruits and vegetables — what could be better and healthier?

But, for example, French girls, who are considered to be the standard of elegance, are also not averse to snacking on fast food. French fries, for example. And in general, these are all stereotypes. Elegance, beautiful, flexible, economical. I don’t understand at all how you can divide people according to such conventional criteria. It’s all so subjective. But today is not about that? Today I write about Mediterranean Diet, «magic diet».

I live in Malta, so I have a lot to say about the Mediterranean diet. I definitely can’t say that the local population is slim, no. Of course, one cannot generalize under any circumstances. But, I think it is historically, the female population of the island is small in stature and many are not as slender as you imagine. Well, you remember, the Mediterranean diet. So, what’s the deal?

I’m lucky to have wonderful relationships with our neighbours here in Malta. It is a wonderful family, the head of the family is Noel, Sabrina and their sons. I enjoy drinking coffee with Sabrina and chatting about «stuff.» Sabrina tells me interesting stories about cuisine, local life, what to see and what to read. I am very grateful to her for this, since it is very important, when changing place of residence, to find like-minded people with whom it will be interesting to spend time.

Getting ready for a kitchen flash mob

Sabrina is a wonderful cook and sometimes treats us to Maltese dishes. This is delicious! I admire the way she combines seasonings and turns a seemingly simple dish into a work of art. I tried her minestrone soup, it’s a vegetable soup. Of course, there are many variations of the recipe with chicken on the Internet, but Maltese minestrone is a vegetable soup. This soup including seasonal vegetables — cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, onions and capers. And seasonings. I became acquainted with the taste of capers only here, in Malta. Capers add an interesting lemony flavour to the dish (I really like adding them to salads).

And yesterday Sabrina treated us to a fish pie. The fish she used in cooking is called lampuki (yes, I know, it sounds funny). This is a rather expensive type of fish and its catching is allowed after September. Fish and cauliflower, capers and seasonings, perhaps it was tarragon. By the way, the pie was delicious and did not have high calories — unleavened dough, fish and vegetables, that’s all right. I treated Sabrina’s family the Ukrainian borscht.

A fish pie

Sabrina and I decided to do a small kitchen flash mob. Before Christmas we are going to prepare our national dishes. She will teach me a Maltese Christmas dish, and I will teach her cook Ukrainian dish. I’m already wondering which one, because there are so many of them! Of course, I will tell you what we got and share the recipes.

So what’s the deal?

Dear reader, so what’s the matter? What about the diet? Haven’t you figured it out yet? Well, of course, Maltese cuisine also includes delicious desserts and pastries.

By the way, Maltese ftira bread is included in the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage, as is Ukrainian borscht.

Dessert «3 chocolates». Well, not exactly a dessert — it’s «3 chocolate» coffee. Imagine an Italian coffee shop. You come in and choose which number of coffee you will try today. Coffee No. 5 — cappuccino “3 chocolates”. The waitress bring you a cup of cappuccino, and the outside of the cup is dipped in 3 types of chocolate. At first your mind — how can I eat it? And then, you close your eyes, take a sip of cappuccino, and yes, lick the cup. This is such bliss))! But that’s not all. You take a spoon, stir the coffee and discover that there is also chocolate at the bottom of the cup. Calories? Forget about them when it’s so delicious! By the way, don’t forget, you can also lick the saucer!

«3 chocolate» coffee

And another symbol of Maltese cuisine is pastizzi puff pastries. How they crunch with every bite! The classic pastizzi filling is ricotta, but it can also be peas, fish, meat, or anchovies.

Pastizzi. The photo I taken from a Maltese group on FB.

So, is this all nonsense, the Mediterranean diet? No, no and NO! How can I argue with nutrition scientists and doctors. As always, it’s all about balance. It’s simple. My trainer Samantha says that the daily diet is 80% proper food, which is cereals, soups, borscht, side dishes and 20% treats. The choice is yours, as always.


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