The Case of the Disappearing Ġbejna

Ġbejniet of Gozo

It was a disaster of national proportions when news broke out that all the ġbejna in Gozo had mysteriously vanished. It seemed like a regular morning, with the sun shining down on the azure waters of the Mediterranean and the tourists already queueing up for the Ħaġar Qim delicatessen tour. But little did they know, they would leave Gozo cheese-less.

Our protagonist, an eccentric cheese maker named Ċensu, woke up to a nightmare. His treasured sheep looked as puzzled as he felt; their beloved ġbejniet had pulled a Houdini. “Uwejja, this can’t be happening,” Ċensu exclaimed, scratching his head through his fidda (silver) hair, as if the solution would come tumbling out.

Valletta and The Scooter Chase

With the scent of a conspiracy stronger than a ripe ġbejna, Ċensu hopped on his vintage scooter and zoomed towards Valletta. The capital’s winding streets were jammed with tourists sampling ħobż biż-żejt, oblivious to the cheesy calamity.

There, he spotted Wenzu, the notorious black market ġbejna kingpin, surrounded by a suspicious number of empty cheese baskets. The chase was a thrilling spectacle, with Ċensu’s scooter weaving through Ġugar hangouts and hurried professionals dipping into pastizzerias. It ended abruptly, as Wenzu, notorious for his poor balance, wobbled and face-planted into a batch of ħobż biż-żejt. “Gotcha, cheese thief!” yelled Ċensu.

The Mdina Twist

Strangely, the twist was more twisted than the streets of Mdina. Wenzu wasn’t the thief; he was orchestrating an exclusive ġbejna tasting event! Wenzu sobbed into his man-size ħankie, “I was framed, Ċensu. Someone took advantage of my underground cheese contacts. I swear on my nanna’s fenek stew, it wasn’t me!”

“And who, pray tell, would frame you?” Ċensu interrogated, his mustache twitching in suspicion.
“Why, the pastizzi syndicate, for sure,” Wenzu gulped down his escalating heart rate. “They want to create a cheese scarcity to skyrocket the price of ricotta!”

Readers, at this point you might be wondering, kollox gone crazy? But hold on to your għonnella, because the rabbit hole, or should we say, rabbit stew, goes deeper.

The Inaudible Interview

Our intrepid reporter at ‘Times of Mela’ managed to snag an exclusive interview with Tereża, the reputed queen of the pastizzi syndicate. She agreed to speak only under the condition the interview was held at the Blue Grotto during high tide; her strong voice fought the splashing waves.

“We’re not the villains here, darling. Cheese and peas – that’s our bread and butter,” Tereża declared, her pastizzis glistening in the sunlight. “Besides, everyone knows cheese vanishes only when there’s…”>
Her voice got whisked away by a boisterous wave at the punchline, leaving us with mouths as gaping as the grotto itself.

The Spotted Culprit

Back in Gozo, with the clues as mixed up as a fenkata feast, Ċensu’s sheep started acting bizarrely. They became unusually quiet when asked about their missing edible offspring. That’s when he noticed it – a speck of something peculiar under Bella’s hoof: a tiny piece of parchment with coordinates. “Ejjew, let’s go on an adventure!” cried Ċensu.

Mystery Solved?

The coordinates led to Għar Dalam, where an underground rave powered by ġbejna-shaped disco balls was in full swing. It turned out that the sheep, tired of being the unsung heroes of the local cuisine, had devised a plan. They wanted their lactose labor to be the life of the party, not just a side dish to pasta.

“Times of Mela, this is the story of the decade,” Ċensu laughed, heart swollen with pride for his rebellious ruminants. “The ġbejniet didn’t just disappear; they became the heart and soul of the underground rave scene!”

And so, dear readers, next time you dine on a succulent piece of ġbejna, remember its cheesetastic journey. From a quiet Gozo farm to the bustling streets of Valletta and the secret raves of Għar Dalam, it has seen more life than a tourist on a two-week Malta megabreak.

Remember, in Malta, even the sheep have dreams of disco stardom.

Mela, that’s all for today, stay tuned for more news that’s as unlikely as finding a parking spot in Sliema during summer.