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ftira in Gozo

Gozo, like Malta, has its much-loved Ftira, a disc-shaped semi flat bread that has a glorious texture. It’s like a ciabatta, but round and with a hole in the middle. When cut open, crusts flying off in all directions, and smothered in tomato paste and olive oil, in combination with olives, tomatoes, onions, salad greens, beans of various kinds, tuna, anchovies, garlic, peppers, carrots, cauliflower and more. It’s risen from its work-a-day image but not lost its roots. Look around at Gozitan families on our beaches this summer and spot hungry kids, fresh from the water, munching on filled Ftira (or slices of Ħobż biż-Żejt -bread similarly sliced up with oil and toms). A word of warning if you do eat it wearing a suit, watch where the oil drips! The best one is said to be the one cooked and served at Maxokk, in Nadur. Maxokk Bakery is a relatively small family-run bakery located a few roads away from Nadur’s main square in a side street named St James Street.  Maxokk Bakery started off around 80 years ago in the 1930s and is named after the family’s nickname  now run by the third generation of the Attard family.  This nickname was given to Pawlu when he was still a young boy.  He was playing with the dynamo of his bicycle when he got a slight electric shock.  Taken aback, Pawlu stormed back home bellowing, “Ma xokk”, which is Maltese for “Mum, I got an electric shock”. The other boys that were playing with Pawlu all burst out laughing. The nickname was born.

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