Ah, but the stories don't stop at talk of rabbit and horse. What I really love about holidays is the exploring - just taking a walk through the town or city with everything feeling foreign and new, never really knowing what you'll find. The fun comes from the spontaneity of it all.
Strolling down the streets of Valletta on the first day, we couldn't resist stepping into one of the many patisseries.
Clockwise from left - apple strudel, almond filled pastry, chocolate and rum and lemon and vanilla. Trust me, we had an extremely difficult time trying to narrow it down to only four! They were all delicious but the almond filled pastry really took us by surprise as it looked most unassuming. The warm almond filling melted in our mouths and kept us coming back for more.
Needless to say, an excursion to a patisserie became a daily fixture and most of the time, we would be standing at the counter, staring at everything and going back and forth between choices, truly testing the patience of the unfortunate sales person stuck serving us. Often, we would just end up picking at random only to be pleasantly surprised.
And really, what's not to stare when the shelves are filled with little delights like these? They look almost too pretty to eat.
" Crumbly on the outside but chewy on the inside...in a foamy sort of way"
- Sapna and Anusha -
I'd never heard almond cookies described like this before but I must say, the description is spot on.
( Photo courtesy of Anusha)
I have a weakness for ice cream and I'm often not alone when it comes to this. Equally tempting were the gelaterias lining the streets and it really didn't matter what the weather was like - any time seemed like a good time for ice cream. As always, being the fickle-minded people we are especially when faced with such interesting choices (how does one choose between flavours like creme caramel, biscuit and orange-tinged chocolate?) we would drive the person behind the counter crazy by requesting free samples of almost everything on display before deciding.
On one of our visits to an ancient temple site, we were distracted by a little stall by the ruins with jars of jam on display. "Cactus jam!", we were told by the lady who was referring to the jars of prickly pears jam. Of course, our interest was peaked and we left the ruins not just with photographs but with some jam and syrup. I was eager to experiment with the carob syrup after being told that it would soothe a sore throat (The dip into the freezing pool the day before had not helped the cold that I had arrived in Malta with).
"Hot water and a teaspoonful of carob syrup" - she didn't lie.
Saying we were spoilt for choice is an understatement. There was something to tempt a sweet tooth at every corner and boy, did we give in to temptation!