ORGANIC RESTAURANTS IN:
Malta is a small, densely-populated country located in the Mediterranean between Sicily and North Africa. Maltese (a Semitic language like Arabic) and English are both official languages, and about 2% of the residents are British. Most Maltese are Roman Catholic, which is the state religion. There are many low hills and forests on the three major islands, and there are around twenty minor islands which are uninhabited. There are no permanent rivers or lakes in Malta, but there is sufficient precipitation for small ones during particular seasons. Some rare flora and fauna include the Maltese Wall Lizard, the Blue Rock Trush, the Maltese Door Snail, the Maltese Rock-centaury (the national plant), and the Sandarac Gum Tree. Limestone, foreign trade, manufacturing, and tourism all support the Maltese economy. You can see the ruins of ancient temple complexes at ─ágantija or Mnajdra, or look at great statues and other exhibits at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta. Many great churches, such as the Mosta Dome in Mosta, are still standing. There are many beautiful beaches such as Gozo's Ramla l-─ªamra Baked rice and pastries like the maqrut are starchy dishes representative of Maltese cooking. Vegetables are often a major part of pasta dishes and soups. Eggplant, zucchini, spinach, and cabbage are typical vegetables. Fish is commonly eaten, including lampuka (mahi-mahi), octopus, and swordfish. Try aljotta, a fish stew with garlic, herbs, and tomatoes. It is essentially a local variation on bouillabaisse. Ftira G─ºawdxija is a flatbread topped or filled with potatoes and possibly additional ─íbejniet cheese, eggs, tomatoes, anchovies, olives, ricotta, or Maltese sausage. Organic restaurants are rarely found in Malta, but you can find vegetarian-friendly menus at Indian or Italian restaurants, or shop at natural foods markets. Many enticing items are seasonal. Around Easter, there are animal-shaped figolla shortbreads stuffed with marzipan, and in November, the similar g─ºadam tal-mejtin (bones of the dead or, as Italians say, ossa dei morti). The Holy Week features the apostles' bagel, qag─ºqa tal-appostli, which is topped with almonds.