If you are coming on holiday to Malta over the next few months, you will get a chance to hear the word “lampuki” bandied about.
Most of the fishing boats will be also loaded with piles of limestone and palm trees, and you will wonder why!
The lampuki is one of the most popular traditional Maltese dishes served from the end of August till the end of December : a white and meaty fish with a delicate flavour. It lends itself to a variety of sauces and trimmings making it one of the most versatile fish you can choose to eat.
With a technique known as kannizzati, local fishermen cut down the lower fronds from palm trees which they then weave into large, flat rafts.
These rafts are then put out to sea, usually accompanied by traditional fishing boats known as ‘Luzzu’, or more modern fuel powered crafts. As the sun reaches the highest point in the sky, the lampuki all clamber to seek shade under the rafts, the fishermen wait for a large number of fish to gather before casting a net over them. This is a technique that has not changed since the Roman times and even when the fish is used for commercial purposes, this old method is still used.
Some of the best restaurants to try lampuki are situated in the south of Malta- e.g. Senglea, Birgu, Marsaskala and Marsaxlokk.