Contact us

Address: 68, Suites 1 & 2, The Strands, Sliema SLM1022, Malta

Phone: +356 79520408

Email: info@primo.mt

Follow Us
Breakfast in Malta
Let's talk about Breakfast in Malta: English Breakfast, Italian style and more!
- “Breakfast” – What does it mean? -

Breakfast in Malta

Sounds like a funny word when you say it a few times – where did it come from? The previous term for breakfast in Old English was ‘morgenmete’, or ‘morning meal’. The term breakfast was then coined around the 15th century and literally means ‘to break fast’. A fast is an extended period of time without eating, which when you think about it, is basically whilst we’re asleep.

Throughout the Middle Ages, breakfast was thought of neither as important nor necessary and was often frowned upon. The Catholic Church considered it to be a sin associated with gluttony and if you were unfortunate enough to wake up hungry and eat, then it must be because you had other lustful appetites such as alcohol. Eating in the morning was restricted to the elderly, the sick or to those who were labourers and farmers and required sustenance to get them through their morning work.

But all this changed at the turn of the 15th century when Europeans started increasingly indulging in breakfast, but if you think that coffee formed part of their morning meal, it didn’t! Can you imagine a world without coffee? It was the 16th century that we owe our thanks to for introducing caffeinated drinks to the market, and in the 1700s it became a popular drink to consume at morning times. Some parts of Europe established meat as part of their morning routine for breakfast, but the majority remained on the ‘contintental’ style that we know nowadays.

Breakfast with yogurt in Malta

Types of Breakfast

English Breakfast

The roots of the English breakfast (or a fry up, as most British know it) date back as far as the 1300s and has become a national dish which has gained fame throughout the world. It is no longer served as it used to be – consisting of porridge, cold meat or fish, bread and ale – but now typically includes some yummy stuff:

  • Bacon
  • Sausages
  • Eggs
  • Baked Beans
  • Butter and Toast
  • And… A variety of other things such as fried mushrooms, hash browns, fried tomato, depending on where you are.
  • Coffee – though this didn’t form part of this morning meal until at least the 1700s!

The Maltese population love indulging in this not-so-healthy breakfast and it can be found in almost every cafe, worker bar or restaurant. It isn’t an everyday kind of breakfast in Malta and Sunday mornings are often saved for this scrumptious meal!

American Breakfast

It all started with cereal (well, way before that), but is it what gave mothers who started heading into the workforce the ability to let their kids be independent without having to do anything dangerous, such as light a fire or use an oven. It has remained one of the first things a child will learn to prepare on their own! Convenience was key and the Americans would opt for things that were easy and readily available – such as bread and eggs. It has evolved over time, depending on where you are in the US, to include things like:

  • Bacon
  • Sausages
  • Eggs
  • Baked Beans
  • Butter and Toast
  • And… A variety of other things such as fried mushrooms, hash browns, fried tomato, depending on where you are.
  • Coffee – though this didn’t form part of this morning meal until at least the 1700s!

Although a treat for your tastebuds, it can be quite a heavy meal. For most Maltese people, it’s a breakfast that will keep you going way past lunch time and has now become readily available in some cafes or American-style bistros – but is kept for special occasions or lazy mornings. You won’t feel like getting up to much after eating an American breakfast!

Continental Breakfast

The term ‘Continental’ breakfast was adopted around 1855, as Europeans started travelling more and countries became more urbanized. What had become a typical English or American breakfast was too heavy on the stomach, and hotels and restaurants started catering for a foreign market who preferred to start off the day with something light and simple. Thus, the Continental breakfast was born, and typically included:

  • Tea/ Coffee
  • Pastry or Baked Goods
  • Fruits and Jams

It’s usually served buffet style and many hotels and restaurants offer it with cheeses, hams, yoghurt and might even include scrambled eggs. However, hot foods are rarely served with a continental breakfast.

A Typical Breakfast In Malta

Malta doesn’t really have a ‘traditional’ breakfast itself, but a few items make the list as a quick grab-and-go snack to start off the day. Worker bars and cafes open early – even 5am – where mostly localy early risers or labourers go to kick start their morning. Typically, these cafes would serve things like:

  • Te Fit-Tazza – This is literally tea which is served in a tumbler, not a mug. For some reason, this is nowadays only really found in the early morning cafes and bars or kazini that serve the construction industry workers or locals more than foreigners and tourists.
  • Hobz Tal-Malti – Maltese bread which can pretty much be eaten all day, every day, and with absolutely anything! This traditional sourdough bread can honestly be served with whatever you like, even plain, and is truly delicious! Whether it’s jam, butter, cheese, dipped in a stew, topped with tomatoes, it really is the best bread you’ll ever taste!
  • Pastizzi – These are savoury pastries made with phyllo or puff pastry. Traditionally, they are stuffed with ricotta or mushy peas, but over the last few years, many have attempted their own spin on the this and have created ones stuffed with various fillings – all delicious! They even make them with Nutella! These ‘pastizzi’ shops can be found dotted all over the island and on almost every corner – you can’t miss them!

Breakfast in Malta isn’t considered a large meal and most locals will have coffee, cereal, toast or a yoghurt at home before work, unless it’s a weekend morning treat or a public holiday – then they’ll spoil themselves! However, with increasing popularity, more cafes and restaurants have a breakfast or brunch menu which caters to everyone’s desires!