Taħt il-Bellieħa: The Fishy Festival of St. Fenek

The Catastrophe at the Ħobż biż-Żejt Contest

Uwejja! The quaint town of Bellieħa, usually a haven of peace just north of bustling Bugibba, was in a tizzy. It was the day of the fabled St. Fenek Festival, where locals commemorate their patron saint of savory snacks by indulging in Malta’s finest delicacies. But this wasn’t just any festa – oh no – this year, Bellieħa decided to put its own twist on the traditional eating contest, gearing up for the first-ever Ħobż biż-Żejt Championship.

Enter Dwardu, a man whose appetite for bread and oil could rival that of a well-fed tourist at a buffet in Qawra. Alongside him was his arch-rival, a slim, mustachioed man named Frans who believed the key to victory lay in his specially concocted gbejna spread.

Humor on the High Seas

In the ultimate twist of faith, just as Dwardu prepared to take the first bite of his olive-laden masterpiece, a pet Dingli bunny, synonymous with Maltese cuteness, hopped onto the table, sending plates flying and seasoned oliage directly onto the town’s bachelor Mayor, Toni.

“Mela, what’s next? A rabbit stew festival hosted by the bunnies themselves?” commented an amused bystander.

It all seemed fishy – too fishy. That’s when Maltija, a shrewd local blogger with a nose for scandals, smelt something other than fish. With a spectacular plot twist, she revealed that the bunny was a plant! Yes, a well-trained operative bunny dispatched by a rival town envious of Bellieħa’s oil-soaked glory. As it turns out, Frans was in cahoots with the furry menace, looking to disrupt the event and cash in on the chaos.

Unraveling Truths: The Interview That Rocked Mdina

Armed with her smartphone, Maltija live-streamed a confession straight out of a Gozitan telenovela that left the nation gripped.

Maltija: “So, Frans, the populace demands the truth! Was it your intention to oust Dwardu from the championships with the help of a bunny?”
Frans: “Honestly, I just wanted to prove that my gbejna spread could beat that pastizzi-fueled belly any day!”

The uproar only grew louder when the historic city of Mdina threatened to revoke Bellieħa’s trading rights to its secret ‘pastizzi dough’ recipe, deeming the contest a farce.

A Twist of Heritage

But Malta, being Malta, turned the entire ruckus into a self-deprecating festivity, declaring the mischievous bunny the honorary mascot of all future Bellieħa food contests. With a wink and a nod to tradition, they swiftly renamed the event ‘The Bellieħa Bunny Buffet Bonanza’, embracing the unpredictability of Maltese life.

In a heartwarming twist, Dwardu and Frans united against the common fuzzy foe, promoting a spirit of togetherness (and strategic bunny-guarding) while promising to dip their ħobż biż-żejt together in the face of adversity, and perhaps a dash of Gozitan peppered cheese.

The ‘Times of Mela’ was there to capture this testament of Maltese resilience, humor, and a stubborn love for their bellies that triumphs over the pettiest of town rivalries. And as the sun set over the glistening Mediterranean, on this little gem of an island where even the bunnies have a sense of humor, the scent of olive oil and laughter filled the air.

“Kollox se jmur sew, as long as we’ve got good bread and better company,” quipped Mayor Toni, as he ushered in a new age of peace, prosperity, and perpetually greasy fingers.