The Curious Case of Gozo’s Vanishing Ġbejna

The Mysterious Disappearance

Once upon a perfectly ordinary Friday, the residents of Gozo woke up to a most extraordinary problem – all the ġbejna had vanished overnight. Now, for anyone who doesn’t know, ġbejna is not just cheese; it’s the lifeblood of Gozo. Imagine waking up craving a ġbejna sandwich and finding out that not a single one was left on the small island. Chaos ensued, markets were in turmoil, and brunch plans were ruined. “Uwejja!” cried the tourists, “How can we Instagram our Gozitan breakfast now?”

The Investigation Begins

Enter Rennie, the intrepid investigator with a keen nose for dairy-based mysteries, and his sidekick, an overenthusiastic Beagle named Twanny. “Mela, we will solve this case before you can say ‘Where’s my ħobż biż-żejt?'” Rennie declared. Little did he know that this peculiar incident would lead them through the winding streets of Victoria, the sandy paths of Ramla Bay, and even within the historic walls of the Cittadella.

The Plot Thickens in Mdina

Hot on the scent, Rennie and Twanny stowed away on the ferry to mainland Malta, landing stealthily in Ċirkewwa. As they made their way to Mdina, they overheard an animated argument between two old-timers playing bocci. “I’m telling you, Carm,” said one, “it’s the rabbits! They’ve developed a taste for ġbejna, and they’re hoarding them for a big feast!” Rennie scribbled furiously in his notepad, the idea appealing to his love for elaborateplot twists.

The Unlikely Suspects

The investigation took a strange turn when Rennie received an anonymous tip. In a hushed voice, the tipster insisted that Valletta’s stray cats had formed an alliance with Gozo’s seagulls. Together, it seemed, they’d coordinated a mass lift-off, swiping ġbejniet from unsuspecting Gozitans under the cover of darkness. Rennie was skeptical, but Twanny’s tail wagged at the mention of the feline felons – this beagle didn’t trust cats.

A Culinary Conundrum

Their search led them to a suspiciously quiet corner of Gozo, where they found a contraption that looked like Ferris wheel meets cheese grater. It was the brainchild of a local inventor, Seppu il-Mejtin, who claimed he was revolutionizing the way people enjoyed their pastizzi. Rennie questioned whether Seppu had any vested interest in the missing ġbejna. With an innocent shrug, Seppu responded, “Kollox bonġu!” leaving the detective duo more puzzled than before.

“Friends, Gozitans, countrymen, lend me your ears – we must look not only for what is missing but also for what has been left behind,” Rennie preached to a crowd of perplexed locals.

The Delicious Twist

Days of sleuthing and several rabbit holes later, Rennie stumbled upon a secret gathering in a remote farmhouse near Xagħra. As he cautiously peered through a window, he discovered a group of venerable nanniet knitting woolly covers for cold ġbejniet. It was a “Ġbejna Protection Program,” a well-meaning but misguided attempt to save the island’s cheese from an unexpectedly chilly spring.

A Delectable Denouement

Rennie and Twanny emerged heroes, as they revealed the funny misunderstanding that led to the Great Ġbejna Hiatus. Ġbejna was restored to its rightful place in Gozitan society, and everyone agreed never to underestimate the protective instincts of their grandmothers again. Rennie was granted free ġbejna for life, and Twanny, well, he got a miniature woolly sweater to match.

An Interview with Rennie

“Yes, it’s true, we found them under layers of wool, as warm as toast. Next time, I’ll start the investigation at my nanna’s house!” – Rennie

And so life in Gozo returned to its blissful norm, with markets bustling with creamy ġbejniet and tourists once again smearing their bread with the delightful cheese. “Times of Mela” readers, remember – when in Gozo, cherish your ġbejna, because you never know when it might just… disappear.