A pastizz (plural pastizzi) is a traditional savoury pastry from Malta. Pastizzi usually have a filling either of ricotta (tal-ħaxu, pastizzi tal-irkotta, cheese cake) or curried peas (pastizzi tal-piżelli, pea cake).[1][2] Pastizzi are a popular and well-known traditional Maltese food. It should not be confused with the Italian pastizz, better known as U' pastizz 'rtunnar.

Maltese Pastizz (Cheese/Pea cake)
Two varieties of Maltese pastizzi
TypeSavory Pastry
Place of originMalta
Main ingredientsFilo-like pastry, ricotta or mushy peas


Pastizzi are usually diamond-shaped or round[3] (known as pastizzi tax-xema' in Maltese) and made with a pastry very much like the Greek filo pastry (although there is also a puff pastry version). The pastry is folded in different ways according to the filling, as a means of identification. Traditionally, cheese cakes (stuffed with ricotta) are folded down the middle, whereas pea cakes are folded down the side.[4] They are typically baked on metal trays in electric or gas ovens in a pastizzerija, usually a small or family concern. They are also sold in bars, cafes and by street vendors. They are a popular breakfast in outer villages.

Culinary export

Pastizzi are also produced by Maltese immigrant communities in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US.[5] The first pastizzeria in Scotland opened in 2007.[3]

In the Maltese language

Such is its popularity, the word "pastizzi" has multiple meanings in Maltese.[6] It is used as a euphemism for the female sexual organ, due to its shape, and for describing someone as a "pushover". The Maltese idiom jinbiegħu bħall-pastizzi (selling like pastizzi) is equivalent to the English "selling like hot cakes", to describe a product which seems to have inexhaustible demand.[7][8][9] Things which are jinħarġu bħall-pastizzi (coming out like pastizzi) can be said to be emerging at a fast rate, sometimes too quickly.[10][11][12]

See also


  1. "#1". Pastizzi. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  2. Gaul, Simon (2007). Malta Gozo & Comino. New Holland Publishing. p. 157. ISBN 978-1-86011-365-9.
  3. Maltese meat pies Archived 2011-07-28 at the Wayback Machine British Baker, 12 October 2007
  4. "All you need to know about pastizzi: Malta's favourite street food".
  5. "Cafe' Menu - Parparellu". Archived from the original on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  6. Fabri, Ray (2009) Maltese linguistics: a snapshot; in memory of Joseph A. Cremona (1922-2003) Bochum: Brockmeyer ISBN 978-3-8196-0734-9 p.44
  7. "No candle in the wind". The Times of Malta. 21 June 2003.
  8. "". Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  9. "INDEPENDENT online". Archived from the original on 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  10. "ILLUM". Archived from the original on 2012-05-13. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2012-01-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. Dibattiti tal-Kamra tad-Deputati (Rapport Uffiċjali u Rivedut): L-Għaxar Parlament, Seduta Nru. 311, It-Tlieta, 1 ta’ Novembru, 2005 Archived 2013-12-24 at the Wayback Machine (in Maltese). Stampat fl-Uffiċċju ta' l-Iskrivan, Kamra tad-Deputati. Accessed January 2012. "Debates of the House of Representatives ... 1 November 2005"
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