When tradition becomes original

This Christmas, experience the thrilling life that thrived on board a corsair ship, by tasting the food that was prepared on board Captain Desira’s vessel hundreds of years ago 

Life could get pretty predictable at times especially when practices turn into tradition. Christmas lunches and dinners could easily fall into such an agenda. Well, what about using actual tradition to be original this year? Heritage Malta is offering the opportunity to surprise yourself as well as your guests by sitting at a table where the served food is none other than an 18th century corsairs’ menu.

This new concept is based on wide research in both local and foreign archives, as well as on the study of artefacts located in the Agency’s museums, which shed light on the food of the past and historical menus. Recipe books, kitchen inventories, butcher bills, and receipts from pasta factories feed Heritage Malta’s curators with inspiration to come out with novel ideas, which provide us with the ability to taste history.

In 1778, Captain Leopoldo Desira left Malta on board of his frigate. His campaign was a well-planned endeavor. The Captain even splashed out cash on two tins of tea, six bottles of rum, and a wheel of cheese from Naples for his officials. Domenico Mursello, a Greek lieutenant under his command, was dispatched with the auxiliary craft of the frigate and was ordered to harass Muslim shipping.

What followed was a disastrous attempt that lead Mursello into a momentous adventure. While fighting against Ottoman war ships, he lost his ship and evaded being captured, by hiding in abandoned silver mines. During this turmoil, he also met his future wife and children. Freedom knocked at his door on Christmas Day, when his Captain managed to save him. This is just the beginning of the story...

This Christmas, Heritage Malta guests will be able to experience the thrilling life that thrived on board a corsair ship, by tasting the food that was prepared on board Captain Desira’s vessel hundreds of years ago. This special menu will include pasta fritters, chick pea soup, and roasted pork shoulder. Rum and raisin biscuits will be served as a digestive, accompanied with slow brewed coffee, or the sophisticated officers’ tea.

A professional team of Heritage Malta curators, and a number of chefs will be  working together to give life to this bygone menu. Tracing the right genuine ingredients is a fascinating enterprise in itself. Meals will be presented in the distinctive and spacious St.Angelo Hall at the Malta Maritime Museum, which is housed within the building of the Old Royal Naval Bakery in Birgu.

For more information about this historical Christmas Menu, and for group bookings, contact Heritage Malta on [email protected] or call Clive Cortis on 79706554.

More in Restaurants
Where we're dining this festive season
Restaurants
Philippa Zammit
When tradition becomes original
A Sunday buffet worth getting out of bed for
Restaurants
Amy Micallef Decesare
Not just another tourist trap
Restaurants
Philippa Zammit

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition

Subscribe