The Kinnie Club

Maltese Qassatat

The phone rings, it is Mum, “what are you doing tomorrow?”
“Not much, why?”
“Dad is making qassatat, want to come over?”
“Absolutely!”

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It is one of the conversations that has always and will end the same. As long as my family is cooking then I will be there eating, indulging and spending those lazy afternoon’s at Mum’s place.
I have literally grown up in my Mum’s kitchen. Her beautiful red kitchen is the centre of her house and the soul of our family. We have spent so many occasions together right there, cuddled around her kitchen bench, sitting across the table, talking, laughing and doing what we do best – food.

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I have very fond memories of many Good Friday’s spent at her place making Maltese figolli, Dad bringing in extra tables from the garage to accommodate all the people and all the food. Countless summer nights spent outside with my cousins enjoying a snapper cooked on the barbeque, while the kids run around and play. And if you have ever watched my Facebook feed then you would have already seen her famous paella and just how perfect it is to share that together.

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Spending the afternoon at Mum’s watching my parents go through the old worn rituals of making qassatat grounds me. Days like these have a way of making me forget the world and simply sink into a place where the only thing that matters is food and family.

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I watch the way my Dad kneads and forms the dough, the way Mum effortlessly loops the pastry together. The method and rhythm of their hands flows with hundreds of years of tradition. Sometimes it amazes me how easy they make it look. I am almost afraid to have a go myself – I am bound to mess it all up and disappoint tradition.

But I guess I can’t hide behind my fears forever, it wouldn’t be fair. My boys deserve to grow up loving Nanna’s house, but also to grow up having that same feeling, that same sense of soul about our house and our kitchen.
I love watching PJ steal some pastry when no one is watching. I love how he breaks his qassatat open to eat the entire filling first and then the pastry last – just like I do. I love AJ pestering my Dad to let him help, even though he slows down the assembly line and gets in everyone’s way – my Dad always makes room for him and lets him have a go.

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It is moments like these that I crave for. The qassatat may be little parcels of heaven that melt in your mouth, but they mean so much more. They are part of my chain and that chain defines me, it gives me strength and purpose.

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I find that I can so easily get caught up in the whirlwind of life, sometimes drowning in society and expectation. Yet when I sit still long enough, pause for long enough, the voice within always seems to be whispering the same hymn. On some days there is nothing better and nothing else that I need, but to be sitting in Mum’s kitchen eating qassatat.

Have you ever tried Maltese qassatat? Do you have a special family dish?
What brings your family together?

  • Leanne Shea Langdown

    Why oh why do I read you before breakfast? And I was going to have fruit salad. Now all I can think of is these lovely yummy parcels!
    Bugger.

    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

  • LydiaCLee

    I’ve never even heard of qassatat but it looks delicious. Also interesting that the QU is an English thing. Hadn’t thought of that before….

  • Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me

    They look absolutely divine and I want one right now! Beautiful story and reflection, Josefa x

  • Samantha Turnbull

    Hi Josefa – I found you at IBOT! Your pics look delicious. I’m not from a family of good or even enthusiastic cooks – sometimes I wish I was! My mother-in-law passed away recently and we inherited her cookbooks. I really should have a flick through them.

  • Look very tempting indeed! The kitchen is where the best family memories are made. x

  • They look amazing Josefa! My mouth is watering…beautiful photos. x

  • Yum, they looks so good! Our family get togethers also revolve around food and cooking together in their huge kitchen! Family and food are where memories are made.

  • bodyandfeetretreat

    We don’t do cooking very well in our family 🙁 I loved reading how, even if the rest of the family aren’t actually cooking, they are still involved in the kitchen. It sounds like a great place to be.
    Have a wonderful day !
    Me

  • DreamingOfMalta

    I’m Maltese and never heard of them, but then again cooking wasn’t mum’s forte. I love dinner times with my husband and three girls. Family and food is the building block of European families. It definitely grounds you.

  • I’ve never heard of these before, but they look fantastic. They are clearly a labour of love, but also a great way to get the family involved.

  • Despite marrying into a Maltese family, and enjoying pastizzi, I have never heard of qassatat. I’m studying the pictures trying to work out what’s in the filling – beans? cream cheese? Do tell!

    Visiting today from #teamIBOT xxx

    • I can’t believe you haven’t heard of these! The filling is ricotta cheese and fresh broad beans. Sometimes we throw in sultanas instead. Others even have meat fillings, but this is the most traditional way to make them – and for me – the yummiest!

  • I’ve never heard of it! But I am not a food lover, and fussy about just about everything so I haven’t exactly gone looking for it either.
    Love the family tradition though. Those sorts of memories are priceless. I’m a wee bit jealous, because I never grew up with anything like that.

  • Grace

    Oh, I’ve never tried qassatat, but your photos are making my mouth water! Isn’t there something soothing about sitting with your mum in her kitchen?

  • TeganMC

    Ohh those look delicious! I love the way you tell stories, I felt like I was standing in your families kitchen, watching it all pass me by.

  • Robyn (Mrs D)

    This makes me miss my family so much. You are very luck to have yours so near by.

  • No I have but qassatat looks divine! So nice to have your parents so close, mine are overseas right now and I miss my daily chats to my mumma bear! x

  • The Plumbette

    I’ve never heard of it or tasted it but now I really want to try it. What a beautiful family tradition of coming together over a meal.

  • Deb @ home life simplified

    so strange to have a post about food and family affect me so much but i simply loved this post!! beautiful images, story and connection – thank you xx

  • I love how you write about food and family and how the two are inseparably linked together through generations of tradition. You photos are just incredible too. I’m guessing that ‘figolli’ are beans because ‘fagioli’ are beans in Italian. I’m really interested in the Maltese language and the links it has to Italian. It’s also linked to Arabic isn’t it? I’m really keen to find a recipe for qassatat and try to make them now!

  • Loree

    I love qassata but I prefer pastizzi 🙂 I too like to leave the pastry till the end. I thought that I was the only person that did that.

    • Loree, would you believe I have always always always eaten them like this! I can’t fathom eating them any other way!

  • Kate

    They look divine! Never tried those. I have actually asked my mother to put all her recipes together, those I grew up loving, and those from her mother, so that I can start cooking them and creating memories for my children.

  • OMG, I’m on my way!!! x

  • Bec | Mumma Tells

    I’m all over paella – it’s amazing! But qaddatat? That’s a new one… but my droolin’ indicates I’m ready to hop on board! Delish! X

  • Have never heard of qassatat but they look delicious! What a wonderful family you have!

  • Desire Empire

    Never tried it but of course, now I want to. I loved this post and now want to know what is in the filling. How lucky you are to be part of such a tradition and a loving family as well. I hope you do learn to make is because in many ways tradition and family are everything.
    Carolyn

  • Katie (@mumabytes)

    Ooh, I’ve never tried it (had never heard of it, actually!), but boy do I want to! Looks delish! My mum is Indian so we have plenty of special dishes that she makes for when we beg long enough! Something about food like this, it always tastes better with an emotional attachment, doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing xo

  • That looks divine. There is nothing like familiar traditions and going home to ground you and remind you if what’s important. Thanks for linking up lovely xx

  • That looks absolutely amazing!! Will you be sharing the recipe or is it a pass me down family secret? I’ll definitely be doing some research on it righ now as I can already feel my mouth salivating

  • Wow they look sensational thanks for sharing x

  • I always think, that with food passed down like this we have to start early even though we’re scared. Because it’s made awesome through countless hours of practice and the sooner we start, the sooner we can be awesome at it (even if it takes years!). got to go through the awkward mistake phase before we can get to the perfect qassatat x

  • This is beautiful xo

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