The Epic Battle of the Maltese Mammas

When Cooking is a Contact Sport

It was a sunny afternoon in the picturesque town of Mdina, and the scent of rabbit stew wafted through the air, mingling with the faint aroma of freshly baked ħobż biż-żejt. However, the peaceful ambiance was about to be disrupted by a culinary showdown that would shake the very foundations of Malta’s gastronomic scene.

Enter our protagonists: Carmela, a stout woman with the hands of a seasoned dough-kneader, and Dolores, with a stare that could curdle milk. They had been friends for decades, but beneath the surface bubbled a rivalry fiercer than the feud between Birgu and Bormla during the annual regatta.

The Gauntlet is Thrown

“Uwejja, I’m telling you, Carmela, my timpana can win wars,” bragged Dolores one day, catching Carmela mid-sip of her favourite Kinnie.

“Mela, Dolores, could be, but my pastizzi would make angels weep with joy,” Carmela retorted, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, her eyes narrowing.

And so it was decreed that they would battle it out at the Great Maltese Cook-Off, an event that the entire island looked forward to more than the annual feast of their patron saint.

The Secret Weapons of Valletta

As the competition drew near, our mammas prepared their secret weapons. Carmela ventured into the heart of Valletta, into the depths of the Portomaso Marina to consult with an old fisherman known for catching the plumpest lampuki in the Mediterranean.

Dolores, on the other hand, sought the wisdom of Gozo’s most elusive baker, whose gulab jamun pastizzi crossover was nothing short of legendary.

The Twist of Fate

The fateful day arrived, and the air was thick with tension. The first round went to Dolores, whose timpana had half the judges speaking in tongues. But Carmela’s lampuki pie in round two was so impressive that the Knights of St John might have risen from their graves for a bite.

The Surprise Judge

In a twist no one saw coming, a surprise judge was announced – a celebrity chef renowned for his scathing criticism and a mouth spicier than a peppered ġbejna.

“Let’s see what these Maltese Mammas are made of. I hope it’s not just hot air and ħobża tal-Malti,” the chef declared, silencing the crowd.

The Plot Thickens Like Reduction Sauce

The final round was a whirlwind of flour and flames. Carmela and Dolores, armed with rolling pins and cheeky insults, were neck-and-neck. But then, as fate would have it, both their dishes inexplicably vanished just as they were to be served to the judge!

It was pandemonium. Accusations flew like pastizzi at a village festa, as each blamed the other for sabotage.

The Culprit Revealed

Just when it seemed like the cook-off would end with rolling pins at dawn, a faint munching sound emerged from a corner. There sat Toni, the local stray dog, his belly round and his muzzle smeared with tomato sauce and breadcrumbs. The crowd let out a collective “Awww!”

Unlikely Heroes

The Maltese Mammas, in a rare moment of solidarity, decided to join forces and whip up a new dish together. An inspired fusion of their recipes: a timpana-stuffed lampuki pie. The celebrity chef, who was about to leave in disgust, took one bite and shed a single, grudging tear of joy. The day was saved, and the Mammas’ friendship was stronger for it.

The Aftermath

So ended the battle of the century. The Great Maltese Cook-Off didn’t just crown a winner; it united fierce rivals and gave the island its next great culinary sensation. And Toni, the mischievous dog? He was given the honorary title of “Taste Tester” and a lifetime supply of leftover pastizzi, making him the happiest canine in all of Malta.

And the moral of the story, dear readers? In Malta, even the dogs know kollox tastes better when there’s peace, love, and a bite of something deliciously baked.


“After the Alarming Incident at the Great Maltese Cook-Off, Authorities Have Announced a New Mandatory Chip-In Scheme for Stray Pets: All those wishing to feed them must now contribute to the “Toni Fund” to ensure our furry friends dine as well as our judges do,” announced Times of Mela in an exclusive follow-up report.