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…

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…

An Existentialist Day in Firenze

If you had a day in the Tuscan capital of Firenze – let’s by all means call it by its local name, it’s one of those places that sound better in the local tongue – and you had to choose between spending it shopping or sightseeing: what would you do? I know what you’re thinking….

You Don’t Need Your R’s In Salsomaggiore

The receptionist at the hotel, with regal pomp befitting the shining, clean foyer, greeted us in a mixture of over-friendliness and Frankensteinian manner. He spoke to us in his own genetically modified Italian. I thought my Italian would be up to scratch but I found his accent more foreign than his moustache. I told my…