Food Challenge: Entry #2 “Sundays in Malta”

This next entry is submitted by Donna.  I have found that Donna has a very emotional aspect and response to photography and so it is with this entry.  Let me have her tell you about it in her own words…

“My mother immigrated from Malta with her family in 1937.   On Sunday afternoons my mom and grandpa used to make Pastizzi for snacks or dinner.   My mom and I made these for the food challenge so I could capture her and this famous Maltese tradition.

Pastizzi are ricotta or pea filled pastries which are the most popular and…best known culinary export of Malta.   Pastizzi (singular: pastizz) are popular amongst Maltese people, and are also produced amongst the immigrant communities of Maltese in Australia, the US and Canada.  Pastizzi lend their name to “pastizzerias” – the dozens of fast food outlets dotted around Malta which primarily sell pastizzi (along with pizzas, qassatat, timpana and sausage rolls).   Pastizzi are typically cooked in batches of 30 on wood furnaces on black metal trays. Pastizzi come in the two standard ricotta and pizelli (pea) varieties,  with the ricotta version notably the more popular of the two. Pastizzi are particularly popular snacks on Sundays in Malta, with vendors all over the islands opening in the early hours to cater for late night clubbers.  Pastizzi have a particular place of pride in Maltese culture and are light-heartedly considered one of the nation’s unique achievements.  Locals consider no visit to
Malta to be complete without eating some pastizzi. ”

For those of you who do not know where Malta is… it is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily, Italy.

Thank you Donna for your very personal submission and for sharing the history of this favorite Maltese treat.  Now if we can just get some samples!  YUM!

Sundays in Malta
(Photo by Donna)

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14 thoughts on “Food Challenge: Entry #2 “Sundays in Malta”

  1. Let me start out by thanking your mom for taking the time to do this and to you for being so insightful. IMO it is so important to pass down these cultural traditions and food is such an important part of it all.

    You have focused on the most important part… the pastizzi, and it is particularly meaningful that you have included your mom’s hands. This adds a very personal touch, and I like that so much! Hands can tell a powerful story and many times represent who we are.

    The photo is uncluttered and the patizzi look particularly good on the black tray and I like the tight crop with just a bit of color in the upper left. I think this is more than a photo for a challenge, this is a photo to be framed and hung in your kitchen for always!

    • Thanks Fay for the lovely comment. You commented on all the elements that I loved about this shot too. Great idea about framing it for the kitchen, another fun project from photography!

  2. I think this image is a little flaky, but in a real good way. Those few crumbs on the tray say a heck of a lot about the food. I like that the sharpest part of the image is a pastizz that is positioned very well to follow the rule of thirds.
    Mmmm, mmmm good photo!

  3. Donna,
    I really like this photo and the meaningful story behind it. I like the angle you used and how the texture of it so sharp! I agree with Fay…..this is a cherished photo that needs to be displayed!! Thank you for sharing this and giving us insight into the cultural importance of this. Very well done!!!!

    • Thanks Lorraine~ it took quite a few shots to get the right angle, but as you know practice and patience! I’ll be printing it soon!

  4. Thank you for all the history…made the picture so much more meaningful!! Love her hands in the picture and the couple of crumbs that have fallen onto the plate…I’d like a sample….anytime….a perfect kichen photo…I agree with the others!!

  5. Very nice. I love the meaning behind your picture. They look delicious and golden brown. I agree with Fay we really need samples. Excellent picture

  6. Donna,
    Thanks so much for sharing this food, explaining what it is, and the cultural tradition of Malta. This is such a beautiful picture that did not just show the beauty of the food but told the story behind it.
    Is Pastizzi made of phyllo dough? This looks delicious. Can I order for the riccota filled?
    Good job Donna, you always impress me.

    • Thanks Tess your so sweet! The Pastizzi are made with puff pastry!
      When I was a kid my grandpa used to make the puff pastry from scratch, now we use the freezer kind!

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