Delicious Treats & Mouth-Watering Delights: 5 Maltese Carnival And Lent Sweets We All Love
by Chiara Micallef
Carnival is known as the last opportunity for people to feast and make merry before the 40 days of Lent commence – a time of fasting in preparation for Easter. This year, Carnival will take place between the 25th of February and the 1st of March, followed by Lent from the 2nd of March till the 14th of April 2022.
While many look forward to the floats and parades exhibited during Carnival, others are eager to try out the mouthwatering sweets and treats prepared locally during this time of year. Here are five delectable treats you can indulge in during Carnival and Lent in Malta.
These pretty sugar-coated almonds come in a wide range of colours. During the Knight's rule in Mata, these sweet treats were thrown from atop carnival floats. While nowadays this tradition has stopped, these treats can still be found at numerous shops and are still a staple at local weddings and festivities.
Overly sweet, toothsome and utterly comforting are three of the best ways to describe this legendary treat. While not everyone's piece of cake, the prinjolata is the embodiment of indulgence and decadence. This beautiful white dome-shaped cake covered in pine nuts, almonds, chocolate, candied peels, cherries and frosting is something we unabashedly look forward to every single year.
3. Qassatat tal-Karnival
Also known as qassatat tal-helu, these exquisite pastries stuffed with chocolate chips, sweet ricotta, candied peel, drizzled with colourful icing and a cherry on top are a true gift to anyone who has a sweet tooth. While they started out as Carnival treats, these scrumptious delights can nowadays be enjoyed throughout the year – both at home or from local pastry shops.
These dairy and gluten-free vegan confections are the ultimate guilt-free Maltese sweet. They are made using orange blossom water, almonds and a mixture of sweet spices – covered in honey and topped off with crushed almonds. Some modern-day varieties are made using egg whites, however, the traditional recipe does not call for any animal-derived products, making them a guilt-free treat to enjoy during Lent.
5. Karamelli tal-Harrub
Karamelli are tiny glass-like square-shaped sweets made from caramelised carob syrup. They were traditionally sold by street hawkers during Lenten days and on Good Friday. These treats are still popular during Lent as they are not made from any animal by-products. Nowadays some vendors add sugar to these candies to increase their sweetness.