Cenote of Maya Blue – Part I

  The smell of the suckling pig flew into the air like the musical aroma created by a butterfly’s flapping wing. If you go close to it as it marinates in the banana leaves you could smell the potently acidic citrus that comes from the bitter orange that drowns it. Angelica moves past me and…

Valletta: the European Capital of Hipsters

    “On the long dinner table a field of food waved yellow in the dim light of dusk. The Cuban prepared deep fried pork rinds like they did in Cuba, but the rest of it was Maltese stuff; cold pasta, timpana, Maltese bread and sausages, aljolli, and saucers with olives and capers.” The above…

The Real Good Stuff in Fiction

  For a couple of centuries now, at least since the likes of Henry James and Dostoevsky, the literary world has been in the grasp of the psychological novel. All the major masterpieces since then have been, in some way or another, a psychology-centred work. Gone are the days of the adventure novels, of Moby-Dick…

3 Tips On How To Eat Local

  And why is it important to eat local when you’re abroad? Why not just go where fellow tourists go, in places made by locals, for tourists? These are run-of-the-mill questions that inspire an existential answer. At least, if you’re existentially minded. And if you travel, you probably are, even if you don’t know it….

Madrid: Salsa and Tacos

    Madrid has been described as the most Spanish of cities – a capital who, like a mother, gives up her own identity and ambition for the sake of her children. There are very little things you could call Madrileño. Maybe churros, the callos de Madrid, cocido Madrileño and a few other dishes. For…

Little and Often: Eating in Madrid

  Coming from a Maltese gastronomic culture good food for me means good portions. Seldom do you go to a Maltese restaurant and feel like you’re climbing a proverbial Everest. Upon leaving you notice the rest of the diners loosening their belt, huffing like a pregnant woman, and drinking copious amount of digestifs-cum-grenades. So to…

Three Odes, Three Dishes

Ode to Pho   Among the market stalls You lunged towards me Like an octopus in the deep dark, Among the market stalls, A universe of complexity Yet still a singularity; From this bowl, It all bangs outwards.   Foaming like the sea, A primordial broth, Made by hands that In your caress Have forgotten…

Travel Essay on Madrid and Writing

  ‘The meek shall inherit the earth.’ The Biblical phase ran through my un-Biblical mind as I walked under the arcades of the Plaza Mayor and saw the lines of men asleep in grey sleeping bags sheltering from the February rain. They had long beards, their clothes overwhelmed them, hiding their shame, wiping out their…

Mamma Roma

Mamma Roma   I return to you as an émigré returns to his own country and rediscovers it… Pier Paolo Pasolini   My first time in Rome was a return to the city I had always known. Not because I live off its heels, or because I even really know Italian but because I am…