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Figolla time in a top caterer’s kitchen

The sunshine is back and spending hours in a hot kitchen preparing Lent and Easter goodies might not seem too enticing.

However, many Maltese are known to love the Easter traditional food, especially the sweets.

And so caterer Vincent Friggieri has been busy over the last few days dishing out hundreds of kwareżimal, hot cross buns and eggs.

But his most popular sweet at this time of year is definitely the figolla – the sweet pastry, cut into different shapes like butterflies, lambs, fish etc is filled with a generous portion of almond and baked.

They are then coated with marzipan, painstakingly decorated in royal icing and topped off with an Easter egg.

“I do not cut corners and make sure that each and every figolla is nicely decorated, in the old traditional way,” he said.

Local tradition dictates that the figolli should not be eaten until Easter Sunday, when it’s time to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.

Another tradition that has crept in over the years in most towns and villages is the traditional blessing of figolli and Easter eggs during or after the procession with the Risen Christ.

The figolli, though popular with children, might be slightly more popular with the older generations.

The children usually opt for the Easter eggs in brightly-coloured wrapping or chocolate figures.

The Maltese have different views on the Easter sweets: some prefer the chocolates while others opt for the traditional almond sweets with that tinge of lemon.

One thing’s for sure: after 40 days of sacrifice during Lent, no Easter lunch would be complete without a piece of the traditional figolla.

Here is a pictorial step-by-step method of how to prepare the tasty sweets for you to follow, courtesy of Mr Friggieri.

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